Bud Black talks strategy

Chicken Friars Gives The San Diego Padres Their Midseason Grades

The good folks at Chicken Friars got together and analyzed how the Padres performed in the first half of 2012.  Next to the category listed is the average CF  grade, with individual grades listed after quotes.

Note: Statistics and grades are from opening day through Friday, July 6, 2012

Offense:  D

 “What is there to really write about an offense that isn’t really working? There have been a few bright spots like Quentin and Yasmani Grandal; even Lil’ Amarista is starting to heat up! But, when the guy who leads the team in batting average is hitting .271 there is still much to aspire to.” – Dallas McLaughlin, Staff Writer,  Grade: C+

“Despite the fact that the Padres as a whole have looked competent at the plate over the last week and a half to two weeks, the stats are what they are over the first half of the season. San Diego ranks last in the League in total Runs with 296 over 83 Games, Last in Team Slugging Percentage (.360), 27th in Team Batting Average (.235), and 25th in Team On Base Percentage (.310).  Hopefully it can get better, because as of now, it cannot get much worse for the Padres and their anemic offense.  When only one consistent starter from Opening Day is hitting over .270 (Chase Headley), you know that a team has issues.” – Dom di Tolla, Staff Writer, Grade: D

“The offense has been a big dissapointment. Cameron Maybin was poised for a break out year, but he’s batting .211. Nick Hundley, another Padre who was primed to bust out, struggled mightily and was sent down to Triple-A. Yonder Alonso has been streaky and the list goes on. Padres offense ranks near the bottom of almost every offensive category  in all of baseball.”  - Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Grade: D

Bench Play:  B

“The main trio of bench players in the forms of Chris Denorfia, Mark Kotsay, and to a lesser extent Jesus Guzman have done a decent to solid job in spot duty over the course of the season.  Denorfia is quietly beginning to heat up and is carrying a .306 Batting Average through 183 At-Bats, and has collected some clutch pinch-hit knocks for the club.  Kotsay when he has not been hurt has done done an adequate job and collected 21 Hits in 68 At-Bats.  And while he has not repeated the success of 2011, Guzman ranks second on the team with 26 RBI’s.- Dom di Tolla, Staff Writer, Grade: B - 

“The only reason I give such a high grade to the bench is because it seems the whole team is a revolving door. We’re a team full of bench players! -Dallas McLaughlin, Staff Writer, Grade: A

“The Padres bench has been consistently good this year. The one bright spot for the Padres this season. Jesus Guzman, Mark Kotsay and Chris Denorfia provide a veteran presence of the bench that has produced quite well.” - Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Grade: A

Defense:  C

“The defense was headed for an F grade. It was a complete failure, that was until Padres’ general manager Josh Byrnes, cut ties with Orlando Hudson and called-up Alexi Amarista and Everth Cabrera to man the middle of the infield. These two alone significantly improved the Padres’ defense.”- Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Grade: B

 “The Padres’ Defense has not been as bad as their hitting over the course of the season.  Nevertheless, there is definitely room for improvement. San Diego has committed the 5th most Errors in the League this season with 61, and the team as a whole ranks 25th in Fielding Percentage.  Alexi Amarista has been a bright spot so far, and has yet to commit an Error and made some slick plays in the field.  Chase Headley also has the most Assists (157) amongst NL Third Basemen, and has been consistent in the field.” – Dom di Tolla, Staff Writer, Grade:  D+

“That’s being gracious. The worst part about last season and this season has been the fact that our defense has actually been a little off. A lot of that can be attributed to how many rookies have been starting. It’s solid D, but there is a lot of room to improve.” Dallas Mclaughlin, Staff Writer, Grade: B

Starting Pitching: C

“Based on the fact that we’ve had more pitchers start a game this season than all of the last two seasons combined, I’m impressed with the way they’ve kept their composure.” – Dallas Mclaughlin, Staff Writer, Grade: B

“Injuries galore for the Starting Staff this season, and boy has it killed any chance for the Padres to do well.  Cory Luebke looked like he was on the verge of a breakout campaign at 3-1, but was lost for the year along with projected #1 starter Tim Stauffer and projected #5 starter Dustin Moseley.  What has made the situation even worse is that Anthony Bass, Joe Wieland, and Andrew Cashner have missed time as well because of injuries.  The team was so desperate for starters they resorted to signing veterans of the scrap heap like Jeff Suppan.  As of now, Eric Stults, Jason Marquis, Kip Wells and Ross Ohlendorf have all started games for the Friars.  The only starters left from the projected staff on Opening Day are Clayton Richard (6-8 3.64 ERA) and Edinson Volquez (5-7 3.68 ERA), and both have done a solid job despite getting not very much run support when they take the hill.”- Dom di Tolla , Staff Writer, Grade: D+/C-

‘This team has been plagued with the injury bug, nonetheless the starting rotation has been quite impressive. Clayton Richard has rebounded terrifically from his surgically repaired shoulder. Edinson Volquez shows flashes of stardom. Jason Marquis has been a nice veteran presence to the pitching staff.”- Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Staff Writer, Grade: C

Relief Pitching: C

“Like the starters, the Padres have had a revolving door of relievers trying to help.  Miles Mikolas, Josh Spence, Matt Palmer, Alex Hinshaw, Brad Brach, and Nick Vincent have all gained valuable expereince along with Rookie Brad Boxberger.  Thankfully, the Padres have had Joe Thatcher and Luke Gregerson to help eat Innings and make consistent appearances.  Gregerson leads the team in Holds (11) and overall appearances (40), and has posted a respectable 3.65 ERA.  Once considered inconsistent, Ernesto Frieri started playing well this season.  Unfortunately, Frieri began to perform once he got to Anaheim.  Luckily, Closer Huston Street is the team’s All-Star representative, and when he has been healthy he has been quite effective.  Strreet has recorded 13 Saves, a 1-0 record, 28 Strikeouts, over 22.0 Innings of work, and Dale Thayer pitched in with 5 Saves of his own when Street was on the Disabled List.” – Dom di Tolla, Staff Writer, Grade: C

” The bullpen is in full rebuilding mode. Only Huston Street, Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher are the veterans on this club. The rest of the bullpen has been filled out by minor league prospects – Brad Brach, Miles Mikolas and Nick Vincent- and fringe major leaguers- Dale Thayer and Alex Hinshaw” – Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Grade: D

‘Worst relief core we’ve had in a few seasons. Thayer and Street have been wonderful surprises, but even Gregerson is throwing a little off this year and that’s not a good sign.” Dallas McLaughlin, Staff Writer, Grade: B-

 Coaching:C+

“Bud Black can only be as good as his roster. Although Black has lead the Padres to a 34-53 record he is not the blame. The roster has under-performed, and injuries have really forced Bud Black to play his cards.” – Robert Moreno, Co-Editor, Grade: C+

“I understand 100% that Buddy’s job is a bit harder than most other managers. He has to deal with a low payroll, fill-in players and a terrible situation with a non-existent owner. However, I think it might be time for Buddy to go. He’s not good with offensive personnel. He makes curious decisions with his hitters and has a lot of trouble getting his team out of slumps. Great guy, not a great manager. ” – Dallas McLaughlin, Staff Writer, Grade: C+

“Manager Bud Black gets a “mulligan” in my book for this season because this season was doomed from April onwards.  With the injuries to the entire pitching staff, the injury to Carlos Quentin, the major slumps of Nick Hundley and Cameron Maybin, and the lack of any offensive firepower through the first half of the season, it is a wonder that this team has won 33 games so far.  The worst thing for Black to deal with however has been the death of his Bullpen Coach and friend Darrel Akerfelds.  It has been a hard year on Black and the rest of the staff, especially Hitting Coaches Alonzo Powell and Phil Plantier.” - Dom di Tolla, Staff Writer, Grade: Incomplete

Those are our grades Friar fans. Tell us what you think.

 

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