Tag: Dale Thayer

Hector Sanchez

Benches clear in San Diego thanks to a Padres pitcher throwing his gum at Hector Sanchez


Some serious “Play The Game The Right Way Theatre” going on in San Diego last night, as benches cleared in the ninth inning of the Giants win over the Padres. The reason? These two teams like to throw gum at each other.

You may recall that, earlier this season, Giants outfielder Angel Pagan angered the Padres when he flicked his gum in the direction of Derek Norris. This time the gum went the other direction.

Hector Sanchez hit a grand slam in the sixth inning. He flipped his bat a bit and watched the ball go out as he began his trot. Which, for Pete’s sake, is common enough these days and wasn’t even in the 30th percentile of showboating moves as far as these things go. The Padres pitcher who gave up the bomb, Dale Thayer, however, felt like this was some breach of decorum, apparently, and threw his gum at Sanchez as he trotted toward first base.

Because, clearly, someone who is concerned with decorum is in the right to take his spit-covered gum out of his mouth and throw it at someone. That’s some serious Emily Post crap right there. You can look it up.

In any event, Sanchez later grounded out in the ninth inning, but not before Shawn Kelley threw a couple of inside fastballs at him. Because, again, the proper and reasonable penalty for being happy that you literally did the best thing you can do as a hitter on a baseball field is to send purpose pitches a guy’s way.

As Sanchez walked back to the dugout he exchanged words with Kelley and the benches cleared:


Just the latest bit of ridiculousness that I’m sure a bunch of ballplayers think is totally appropriate because, of course, there is only one way to play the game. And because for whatever reason, the Padres and the Giants can’t keep the gum in their mouths.

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.

Pablo Sandoval hits three homers against Padres

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval won’t be having any three-homer games in the World Series this October, but he did accomplish the feat for the first time in the regular season Wednesday as the Giants crushed the Padres 13-5.

Sandoval had a modest 10 homers this season before taking three relievers deep tonight. He had a two-run shot off Brad Brach in the fifth, a solo homer off Brad Boxberger in the eighth and then a three-run bomb off Dale Thayer in the ninth.

The homers also gave him his first career six-RBI game.

Sandoval previously hit three homers in Game 1 of the World Series last year against the Tigers. He finished the postseason with six in 66 at-bats. This year, he had just two in 238 at-bats since the beginning of June.

Huston Street on track to return from disabled list Sunday

huston street getty
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From MLB.com’s Chelsea Janes comes word that Padres closer Huston Street will make his rehab debut on Friday night at High-A Lake Elsinore and could be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday afternoon if the outing goes smoothly.

Street has been on the disabled list since August 11 because of a left calf strain. He also missed a chunk of time earlier this summer with a strained right lat.

Despite those multiple injury setbacks, the 29-year-old right-hander has still managed to register a spectacular 0.75 ERA, 0.53 WHIP and 45/8 K/BB ratio through 36 innings this season. He has also converted 21 saves in 21 opportunities.

Luke Gregerson and Dale Thayer have been handling the Friars’ ninth-inning role.

Huston Street lands on disabled list with left calf strain

Huston Street Getty
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UPDATE: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Street is going on the disabled list with a left calf strain. The Padres are calling up right-hander Cory Burns to take his spot on the active roster.

10:39 PM: Huston Street’s dominant season took an unfortunate turn last night against the Pirates, as he suffered a left calf injury while notching his 21st save.

Street pulled up lame while trying to cover first base on the final play of the ballgame. He immediately came up limping and had to helped off the field by a team trainer and a teammate.

The Padres’ closer will be re-evaluated Saturday, but manager Bud Black told George Von Benko of MLB.com that the injury will likely require a stint on the disabled list.

“We got some ice on it,” manager Bud Black said. “We don’t know the significance of it. As always, we’ll see how it sets up overnight. But my early premonition is that it’s going to put him out for a while. Hopefully I’m wrong.”

Street has an excellent 0.75 ERA and 45/8 K/BB ratio over 36 innings this season and is a perfect 21-for-21 in save chances. The Padres chose to sign him to a two-year, $14 million extension last month rather than deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Black told Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune that right-hander Dale Thayer could fill in at closer if Street requires an extended absence. Thayer thrived in the role earlier this season while Street was on the disabled list with a right lat strain. Luke Gregerson could also be elevated from his current set-up role or the Padres could employ a closer-by-committee approach.