Tag: Clint Barmes

Jose Bautista

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


I haven’t added them all up nor have I researched the matter, but if I just had to guess, with my gut, based on doing these recaps every morning, I’d guess that more runs were scored last night than any night with 15 ballgames going in, say, a year. Maybe a year and a half. Could be wrong — could be way wrong — but it sort of feels like it.

I’d also say that, based on the couple of game stories I read, someone fired the cliche machine up to 11. But hey, it’s hard to be creative on a Tuesday night. Anyway:

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 6: So Bud Norris isn’t having a great time. Rocked for nine runs in two and a third, which follows on two previous not great outings, including an eight-run bleed-out against the Orioles in his first start of the year. On the year: twenty earned runs on 18 hits in ten and a third. In the offseason the O’s were trying to deal Ubaldo Jimenez but no one wanted him so they thought about trading Bud Norris instead. Always go with your second instinct, I guess. Two homers for Edwin Encarnacion. Oh, and Jose Bautista hit his 250th career homer that (a) came after O’s pitcher Jason Garcia nearly hit him, so (b) Bautista admired the shot, stared down Norris and then flipped his bat, causing the O’s to get all feisty and mad. Adam Jones even said, unironically, that Bautista needs to “respect the game” afterward.

Phillies 7, Marlins 3: The Phillies actually had an offense last night, led by Ryan Howard, who hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth. Howard was 2-for-3 with a walk, in fact. So I guess it just so happens that our friend Ryan here was only MOSTLY dead. And, as we all know, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do: eat $50 million of his contract and ship him to the American League.

Royals 6, Twins 5: Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning. After the game, Ned Yost was asked about how he stuck with Moustakas over the past couple of years despite all of his slumps:

“You almost want to stand up on this table and yell, `I told you so!” Yost said, flashing a wry grin. “But I’m not. I’m not an I-told-you-so kind of guy.”

Well, you just told-us-so, Ned, so you kind of are.

Angels 14, Athletics 1: Johnny Giavotella drove in four and Kole Calhoun had four hits, including a three-run homer. After the game, Giavotella said this:

“From day one in spring training, this team has welcomed me with open arms. They believe in me, and it’s great to have guys that rally around you and root for you”

Somewhere, in exile, Josh Hamilton sheds a single tear as mournful music plays.

Astros 6, Mariners 3: I love the intro to this AP gamer:

Collin McHugh continued to linger, never getting knocked around enough to where his night needed to end . . .

I feel like that was a lyrical passage to at least six songs in the mid-90s.

Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead three-run double on an 0-2 pitch in the eighth inning. The Astros are 8-6 and sit atop the AL West, by the way.

Cubs 9, Pirates 8: Addison Russell made his big league debut and finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. But that’s OK, because (a) the Cubs won anyway; and (b) Kris Bryant made a debut that was just as poopy on Friday and all he’s done since then is knock the friggin cover off the ball and get on base like crazy. Starlin Castro chipped in as well, going 3-for-5 with a homer and four driven in.

Rangers 7, Diamondbacks 1: Prince Fielder homered, doubled and drove in three. Asked what he’s doing, he said he is “just looking for a pitch [he] can drive.” I can’t believe he’d reveal such top secret information like that. Opposing teams read these game stories, you know. Fielder on the year: .386/.435/.509 with nine driven in. Guess he was just mostly dead too.

Giants 6, Dodgers 2: The third only mostly dead performance of the night, with Tim Lincecum allowing only one run in six innings to snag the win. He also provided another great cliche on the night when he revealed that his secret was “making good pitches.” Huh. “So, kids: if you’re a young pitcher out there, make good pitches. Not bad ones. That’s a tip from your old friend, Tim,” Lincecum did not add.

Reds 16, Brewers 10: Two grand slams for the Reds — Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier — and two homers from Zack Cozart powered up the Reds. Elian Herrera hit a grand slam for the Brewers and drove in five overall. RIP all the pitchers in this game. The Reds have scored 22 in two games against Milwaukee. Welcome back to 1999.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: One of the few pitchers duels of the night. And should’ve been lower scoring than it was, except Drew Storen blew the save in a 1-0 game in the ninth. Yunel Escobar’s walkoff homer in the 10th, however, saved his bacon.

Yankees 5, Tigers 2: Nathan Eovaldi allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while pitching into the eighth inning. The Yankees turned four double plays behind him. Chris Young and Stephen Drew hit solo homers in the seventh.

Mets 7, Braves 1: Trevor Cahill didn’t throw strikes, got behind in counts and the Mets sat back waiting for his get-me-over pitches, which they smacked all over the dang place. This is not a repeat from, like, every Trevor Cahill start of the past couple of years. Catcher Kevin Plawecki made his debut, filling in for the injured Travis d’Arnaud. He got two hits, scored twice and threw out a runner trying to advance. That’s nine wins in a row for the Mets.

Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Wade Miley and four relievers combined on the shutout. The game’s only run came on a throwing error that should’ve been an inning-ending double play. Mookie Betts’ hard slide helped throw second baseman Ryan Brett off balance, however.

Indians 6, White Sox 2: Carlos Carrasco made his first start since being hit in the face by a comebacker. He seemed just dandy, striking out eight in five innings on a cold night. The pen took over from there, allowing only one run in four innings of work. In all, Indians pitchers struck out 15 White Sox.

Padres 7, Rockies 6: Derek Norris hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth to help the Padres complete a come-from-behind victory. Clint Barmes homered and Wil Myers had three hits and the Padres have won six of seven. They’re 10-5 overall and six of those wins have been come-from-behind jobs.

Tradin’ A.J. Preller and the Padres are looking for a shortstop

A.J. Preller

It’s been nearly 48 hours since the last Padres trade, so you have to assume Padres’ GM A.J. Preller is getting a bit antsy to make a deal. And he may make one soon:

At present Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes are manning shortstop for the Friars (Barmes got the Opening Day start) but neither of those guys seem poised to give San Diego any kind of decent production.

Given that we’re on Day 2 of the season and given that shortstop is perhaps the thinnest position in all of baseball at the moment, there aren’t a lot of obvious candidates for a deal. Still, there are some often-discussed salary dump guys like Elvis Andrus out there, and the Cubs have Addison Russell waiting in the wings behind Starlin Castro, so it’s possible a deal could be made.

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.

Clint Barmes is a Padres hipster

Clint Barmes

Clint Barmes signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Padres on December 3, just before Padres GM A.J. Preller completely overhauled the roster. Here’s a look at what happened in San Diego after he signed, per MLB.com’s transactions page:

  • December 18: Padres acquire outfielder Matt Kemp in a trade with the Dodgers, and catcher Derek Norris in a trade with the Athletics
  • December 19: Padres acquire outfielder Justin Upton in a trade with the Braves, outfielder Wil Myers in a trade with the Rays, and sign free agent pitcher Brandon Morrow
  • December 20: Padres acquire third baseman Will Middlebrooks in a trade with the Red Sox
  • December 29: Padres acquire pitcher Shawn Kelley in a trade with the Yankees
  • December 30: Padres acquire pitcher Brandon Maurer in a trade with the Mariners
  • January 7: Padres sign free agent pitcher Josh Johnson

Barmes was aware the Padres were looking to improve, but not like that. Via MLB.com’s Thomas Harding:

“Being one of the earlier guys to sign over there, you hear from the GM that they’re going to try to make these trades and sign these guys,” Barmes said Saturday before working with a large group of boys and girls from Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska at the Clint Barmes Top of the Nation Baseball Clinic in Greeley, Colo. “It happens every year. You hear a lot of that. But to have a guy do what he’s done has been pretty impressive.

“My agent said they were focusing on making some changes and bringing guys in. It’s definitely going to be exciting.”

As Harding says, Barmes joined the Padres before it was cool.

Barmes, 36 in March, will serve in a back-up role for the Padres. He hit a meager .245/.328/.294 in 116 plate appearances last season with the Pirates, but provides versatility with his ability to play any position in the infield.