Speed … it shows up everywhere

Last week in Denver, I sat down with Padres general manager Kevin Towers to talk about a few things, things we’ll discuss here on the blog, on Twitter and I’m sure on the Facebook page in the coming weeks.

One of the things I asked Towers about was the element of speed and the upgrade in athleticism this team has over the 99-loss team of a year ago or, really, even the one that started the year in April.

I’m not just talking stolen bases here, though it’s worth noting that the Padres have more than twice as many stolen bases this season (79) than a year ago (36). But the speed shows up on defense — think Everth Cabrera ranging in the hole for a ball or Will Venable laying out for a ball — as well as taking an extra base on a throw home, etc.

Here’s a snippet from the story that can be found at Padres.com:

“To me, where speed really shows up is late in ballgames. The eighth
or ninth inning and you have a guy like (Everth) Cabrera gets on,” Towers said.
“It can change the whole game. It’s almost more dangerous than the one
power hitter.

“The speed guys are less prone to the strikeout. They put the
ball in play. They put a lot of pressure on the opposing team late in
the ballgame.”

What are your thoughts about the speed and athleticism of this team? Is this what you want to see. Is this the type of players the Padres need to have to have success at PETCO Park and beyond?

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com, @FollowThePadres, Facebook

2 Comments

This is honestly the most excited I’ve been about the Padres since the 96 and 98 teams. My biggest complaint about the organization since moving to Petco has been that they never built a team for the stadium…It seemed like their answer to offensive woes was always “Let’s move in the fences.” It is so great to see the team actually being built for the park and that they’re bringing back that home field advantage.

Perhaps the best part about the team is how young they are. Hopefully they can keep this group of guys together for a long time to come.

For me, seeing a more small ball approach is a lot more fun and exciting to watch. With the speed of these guys, there’s just so many more ways that they can score. This is the kind of team that can continually put pressure on a pitcher and defense, and can constantly chip away at a lead when they’re behind. It’s much better having things this way than having to rely on just having one big clutch hit like we’ve had to in the recent years (Especially since our team has been filled with nothing but rally killers since the move).

So if the organization really is putting a premium on speed, then how come we’re not seeing more of Luis Durango, the Padres’s fastest player?

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