Tag: Brandon Maurer

Brandon Maurer Padres

Padres lose setup man Brandon Maurer to shoulder injury


Right-hander Brandon Maurer has been one of the biggest bright spots for the Padres this season, emerging as a quality setup man after they acquired him from the Mariners for outfielder Seth Smith.

However, after posting a 2.11 ERA in the first half Maurer has struggled in the second half and now he’s been placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

General manager A.J. Preller told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune that the Padres expect the injury to be a minor one and “just want to give him a two-week breather and have him finish the year strong.”

Maurer, who struggled as a starter for the Mariners, has a 3.00 ERA and 39/15 K/BB ratio in 51 innings overall this season and seven of the 17 earned runs he’s allowed all year have come in the past two weeks.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Nationals 2: Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy went back-to-back in the third inning and then Lucas Duda added one more. That was more than enough for Noah Syndergaard, who went eight innings allowing only two runs and putting the ball more or less wherever he wanted to. The Mets win the biggest game in the history of Citi Field and move into a first place tie with the Nats after the sweep.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 1: New Astro Carlos Gomez hit a two-run, go-ahead single in the fourth and Colin McHugh allowed one run on eight hits in seven innings. More hits than innings = “scattered” hits. If there are mushrooms on the hits, they’re “capped.” It’s all on the Astros’ secret menu.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 2: I said this after the Cardinals picked up Brandon Moss on Thursday:

[Moss is] hitting just .217/.208/.487 this season and perversely, is hitting lefties better than righties — but he has a line of .254/.340/.504 over the previous three years. And of course, the Cardinals and their devil magic tend to turn everyone into a near-superstar as soon as they’re acquired. If they didn’t get Moss they could’ve probably signed Will Clark out of retirement again and have him hit .280/.340/.500. That’s just how they roll.

So of course Moss hits a pinch hit walkoff RBI single in this one. Hail Satan.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 2: Things got chippy here, with Royals starter Edinson Volquez pitching inside to Josh Donaldson,  eventually hitting him with a pitch in the third inning. Then came retaliation later in the game, and benches-clearing incident. Which wasn’t a brawl because guys just don’t brawl these days. Of course the silliest thing here is that after all of the Royals throwing at Jays, — including Ryan Madson pitching inside to  Troy Tulowitzki and Donaldson in the seventh inning — umps eject Aaron Sanchez and DeMarlo Hale for hitting Alcides Escobar in the bottom half of the seventh. So, if you’re the aggressor in a plunking war, you get three or four chances but the first time you plunk back, you’re outta here. I’m sure that’s not written someplace in the unwritten rule book.

Pirates 3, Reds 0: Benches cleared here too as a plunking of Marlon Byrd on Saturday carried over to Sunday with Pedro Villarreal hitting Andrew McCutchen with a pitch followed by Tony Watson hitting Brandon Phillips. Finally, for good measure I guess, Mark Melancon hit Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart. Wheee! Oh, both here and in the Jays-Royals game there was actual baseball played too. Click the box scores for that. We’re just here for the fighing.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3: The Dodgers got something of a mixed bag from their recent acquisitions, with Mat Latos giving up only one run on four hits over six innings and leaving with a 2-1 lead. But Jim Johnson, who came over in the same trade, gave up a tying homer by Kole Calhoun with one out in the eighth. Onto extra innings where Andre Ethier ended it with a two-run homer. It was his second one of the day, and both times he put the Dodgers in the lead. That’s some serious takin’ care of business.

Marlins 5, Padres 2: Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off three-run home run off Padres reliever Brandon Maurer. That helped the Fish avoid a sweep. Which really is bad for them because they’re totally in the race with the Phillies for the top pick in the 2016 draft. So, yes, quite the setback.

Tigers 6, Orioles 1: Welcome to Detroit Daniel Norris. The Tigers’ acquisition in the David Price deal went seven and a third innings allowing one run on four hits. J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the first and the Tigers would never trail.

Rays 4, Red Sox 3: The Rays avoid a sweep thanks to a late rally keyed by an Asdrubal Cabrera double followed by a James Loney single in the eighth. Which reminds that James Loney played 30 games for the Red Sox back in 2012 which seems like a dream.

Braves 6, Phillies 2: Atlanta avoids the sweep at the hands of the Phillies. I got all sad that the Braves traded away prospect Jose Peraza, but that sadness is tempered by things like Jace Peterson having three hits, including a three-run home run. I mean, he’s nothin’ special, but the Braves have a long and rich history of winning with kind of crap second baseman so they can do it again a year or two from now, right? Think of it as a tribute to Keith Lockhart. Julio Teheran pitched well on the road. That does not happen very often.

Yankees 12, White Sox 3: Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira homered and Stephen Drew had three hits and four RBI. This against Jeff Samardzija of all people, so not bad at all. The bottom three in the Yankees order, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius and Drew, combined for seven hits, six RBI and eight runs scored.

Cubs 4, Brewers 3: The Cubs win their fifth straight, but it was costly as Kris Bryant leaving the game following a headfirst slide into second in which Jean Segura’s glove hand came down kind of hard on Bryant’s head. He sort of slid into Segura’s leg too, as he was really moving. He was woozy after the game and went through concussion testing. Joe Maddon thinks he’ll be fine, though.

Mariners 4, Twins 1: Logan Morrison hit an RBI double in the M’s three-run 11th inning. Nelson Cruz hit a 440+ foot homer earlier in the game.


Rangers 2, Giants 1: Mike Leake allowed two runs in six and a third in his Giants debut but that’s not good enough when your boys only score one. Martin Perez — who got destroyed by the Yankees his last start out — allowed only one run while pitching into the ninth. I think we all have days we just pretend never happened. Perez’s was last Tuesday. “What happened last Tuesday?” Perez asks. “I don’t think anything happened. Was there even a last Tuesday?” He continues.

Athletics 2, Indians 1: Another walkoff. Sure has been a lot of them lately, it seems. This one courtesy of Mark Canha’s two-out double in the 10th. He wasn’t even supposed to be there yesterday, but he took over for Josh Reddick, who suffered lower back tightness after chasing a foul ball in the Indians bullpen earlier in the game.

Video: Adeiny Hechavarria clubs a walk-off three-run home run for the Marlins

Adeiny Hechavarria
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Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning when he clubbed a walk-off three-run home run to left-center field against Padres reliever Brandon Maurer. Hechavarria’s effort helped the Marlins avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Padres, and halted their four-game losing streak. With the Phillies streaking, the floundering Marlins have picked up some steam in the race for the first overall draft pick in next year’s draft, as they only “trail” the Phillies by 2.5 games for the worst record in baseball.

Hechavarria has put together an adequate season, batting .279/.311/.375 with five home runs and 42 RBI while playing superb defense at shortstop.

The Padres just didn’t need Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

The 2014 Padres were 63-1 when leading after eight innings.

That’s not the amazing stat, though. The truly incredible one is that they were 60-1 when leading after six innings. The 2014 Padres obviously had difficulties generating leads, but once they got them, they were untouchable.

Still, this was hardly a unique feature of the 2014 Padres. In 2013, the team was 63-3 when leading after eight innings. In 2012, it was 68-2. In 2011, it was 62-3.

It’s hardly any kind of secret that Padres usually feature great pens. Last year, they were second in MLB in bullpen ERA at 2.73. The since departed Huston Street helped them along for four months, but they still had the following returning for 2015:

Joaquin Benoit: 1.49 ERA in 54 1/3 IP in 2014
Dale Thayer: 2.34 ERA in 65 1/3 IP
Kevin Quackenbush: 2.48 ERA in 54 1/3 IP
Nick Vincent: 3.60 ERA in 55 IP

Plus, they had added two fine arms in Brandon Maurer and Shawn Kelley. Maurer, picked up from the Mariners for Seth Smith, showed a high-90s fastball to go along with an excellent slider after shifting to the pen last year, amassing a 2.17 ERA and a 38/5 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings. I projected him as one of the NL’s very best relievers for 2015. Kelley had a 4.53 ERA for the Yankees, but it came with 67 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings. An extreme flyball pitcher, he’s well suited for Petco and should be an asset in a setup role.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that the Padres had no need at all to trade for a closer, even if that closer was Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is awesome. He’s quite possibly the best in baseball at what he does, and since he’s 26 and on a reasonable contract for the next three years, he’s no rental. He was a major trade asset. And the Padres should have left him alone.

Because to get Kimbrel, the Padres had to take on the $46.35 million that Melvin Upton Jr. is due the next three years. They also had to give up their top pitching prospect in Matthew Wisler, the No. 41 pick in the 2015 draft (which was tradeable because it was a competitive balance pick) and a decent outfield prospect in Jordan Paroubeck (the team’s second-round pick in 2013). And now that they have Kimbrel, they’ve sent two perfectly fine setup man, Maurer and Quackenbush, to Triple-A to twiddle their thumbs until there’s a need in the pen.

The Padres did get to dump the $16 million owed to Cameron Maybin and $8 million due to Carlos Quentin. But factoring in Kimbrel’s $34 million commitment, they took on $56 million to get someone who isn’t truly going to be a difference maker, at least not from April until September. Maybe it’ll pay off during a postseason run at some point within these next three years, but there had to be ways to use that money that would have better increased their chances of going to the postseason.

For all of new GM A.J. Preller’s maneuvering, the Padres still have perhaps the NL’s worst defensive outfield and its worst offensive infield. Meanwhile, they’ve subtracted their No. 1 (Wisler), No. 2 (Trea Turner), No. 4 (Joe Ross), No. 6 (Max Fried), No. 9 (Zach Eflin), No. 10 (Jace Peterson) and No. 11 (R.J. Alvarez) prospects, according to Baseball America’s rankings. That list doesn’t include Jesse Hahn, the quality young starter sent to the A’s in the Derek Norris trade.

Preller has remade the Padres as an extremely interesting team, and he’s certainly gained the attention of the fanbase, which should pay off in increased revenues. But it’s still a flawed group, one with a couple of very questionable long-term commitments, and the farm system has been decimated along the way. Even so, Preller’s grand experiment seemed worthwhile for the most part. He merely needed to know when to stop.

2015 Preview: San Diego Padres

A J Preller, Bud Black, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks, Wil Myers

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The San Diego Padres.

The Big Question: Who are these guys and what have they done with the Padres?

A.J. Preller was hired as the Padres general manager last August and he went into the offseason with a plan. Prior to the winter meetings, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Padres were “aggressively looking for hitters who can help them contend for (the) NL West title immediately.” The report drew some laughs, as it seemed incredibly ambitious and even unrealistic for a team which ranked last in pretty much every major offensive category last season while finishing under .500 for the fourth straight year. We quickly learned that he wasn’t messing around.

The biggest changes came in the outfield, with trades for Justin Upton (from the Braves), Matt Kemp (from the division rival Dodgers), and Wil Myers (in a three-team deal with the Rays and Nationals), but Preller also acquired 2014 All-Star catcher Derek Norris from the Athletics. There’s something to be said for not being loyal to the players you inherit from a previous regime. As a new GM, Preller was uniquely positioned for this rapid and unexpected overhaul. The cherry on top of their offseason was signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million contract in early February. Joaquin Benoit’s $15.5 million deal was the franchise’s previous record guarantee to a free agent, so this is some uncharted territory we’re dealing with here. The Padres also threw money at some low-risk, high-reward types for their rotation with Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow. Despite all the activity, the Padres’ payroll isn’t going to be much higher than what it was last year. It helps that the Dodgers are paying nearly all of Kemp’s salary for this season.

Pitching was already a strength for the Padres, partially due to their home ballpark, but the addition of Shields makes them even better. He can now slot into the No. 1 spot while Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, and Tyson Ross all move down a peg. Odrisamer Despaigne held his own during his first season in the majors last year and should do fine as a fifth starter if Morrow and/or Johnson don’t pan out. Outfield defense is a concern, particularly in center field with Myers, but the Padres are hoping that what the trio does on offense offsets the deficiencies in the field.

Who knows if this is going to work out. Kemp is an injury risk and maybe all those innings finally catch up to Shields. Maybe Myers doesn’t bounce back and Upton (an impending free agent) becomes a trade candidate by midseason. But the Padres are trying something here and that’s pretty exciting. It’s always fun to be in San Diego, but even more so right now.

What else is going on?

  • It’s pretty remarkable that the Padres were able to make all of these moves and still managed to keep arguably three of their best prospects, right-hander Matt Wisler, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, and catcher Austin Hedges. I guess you could throw Rymer Liriano into that mix, as well. So they didn’t completely sell out their future this winter. You could also say that they still have the flexibility to make another big move if they really want to go for broke. Cole Hamels, perhaps?
  • My goodness, something has to give with these extra outfielders. The Padres dealt Seth Smith to the Mariners over the winter, but they still have basically their projected starting outfield from a couple of years ago — Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, and Carlos Quentin — under contract. Liriano also saw time at the major league level last year. Quentin could get hurt by the time I finish writing this sentence, but one would think we’ll see a trade soon to clear this logjam.
  • While right-handed sluggers Upton, Kemp, and Myers could put up big numbers in that outfield, the infield is another matter altogether. It’s a glaring weakness. Jedd Gyorko showed some potential during his rookie season in 2013, but he’s coming off a down year and he’s surrounded by the likes of Yonder Alonso, Alexi Amarista, Will Middlebrooks, Yangervis Solarte, Tommy Medica, and Clint Barmes. Not the most inspiring group. Perhaps Alonso or Middlebrooks can surprise, but that would require a leap of faith. This infield would be more interesting if they managed to outbid the Dodgers for Hector Olivera, but that ship has sailed.
  • With the additions of Upton, Kemp, Myers, Shields, and Norris, it’s easy to overlook the work that Preller did with his bullpen. Brandon Maurer came over in the Smith deal with the Mariners while Shawn Kelley was acquired from the Yankees for minor league right-hander Johnny Barbato. Both are intriguing potential late-inning arms. Padres manager Bud Black has a handful of interesting alternatives for the closer role if Benoit goes down at some point. I wouldn’t rule that possibility out, as Benoit will be 38 later this year and dealt with some shoulder issues down the stretch last year.
  • Saying “if he can stay healthy” should be obvious with any pitcher, but that’s especially the case with Cashner. The 28-year-old has flashed frontline potential at times, with a 2.96 ERA across 51 career starts, but he was limited to just 19 starts last season with elbow and shoulder issues and has never thrown more than 175 innings in a season before. This rotation has some questions — even Ross was shut down after a career-high 195 2/3 innings last year due to muscle soreness in his right forearm — but if things break right, they could be one of the best groups in the National League.

Prediction: I think it’s going to be close with the Giants, but what the heck, I’ll drink the offseason Kool-Aid. Second place, NL West and the second Wild Card spot.