Hello from Denver,
It was not ideal.
The Padres ended the first half with a splash.
Starting launch. Offense. Defense. All is not good.
âIf we’re going to go to the playoffs and make noise in the playoffs and get as far as we want, we have to tighten up those things,â Jayce Tingler said.
I explained the issues of the last two days, in particular, in my game story (here) of yesterday’s 3-1 loss to the Rockies.
We have time to break down these things in more detail in the coming days.
For now, let’s talk about what Ryan Weathers suffering from a leg injury could mean.
The Padres needed a starting pitcher before Weathers left yesterday’s game in the third inning. Now they need at least one. And as we respond to the needs, we need to discuss what appears to be a void at the top of the spin.
But how (and if) to fill this void is a delicate question.
At the start of the weekend, word from inside the organization was that the Padres would continue to push back on proposals that included MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell or Luis Campusano.
This may or may not yet be the case. The Padres have other prospects who can help them get useful coins. What they need might force them to give up better prospects.
It’s a confusing place for a team that are so committed to (supposedly) improving their starting rotation during the offseason.
The Padres are caught in a tough dimension where they thought they had completed their rotation with the pieces needed to be a formidable playoff contender.
Things have changed. And evolved.
The thought a few weeks ago was that they would be well served to just acquire a usable starter on the trade-in deadline, one that could give them quality starts. This need has become more pressing.
Moreover, while they continue to express at least some confidence that Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove will be better in the second half of the season, there is no clear No. 2 starter after Darvish. (And even that assumes that Darvish’s current back and hip problems are behind him after a rest that will last at least the whole week.)
The Padres started yesterday mainly concerned about the amateur draft.
(They selected the Jackson Merrill High School shortstop with their first-round pick, which Jeff Sanders wrote about here.)
The idea has been that trade talks will intensify after the project is concluded tomorrow. The Padres may not be able to wait any longer.
This is a reminder and a recommendation.
The documentary “Tatis: The Rise of El NiÃ±o” airs Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
I watched it last week – or at least what was probably the final version. You never know with Fernando Tatis Jr. So there might be something special in the All-Star Game.
âI don’t know if we’re done yet,â producer Tony Ferraiolo said. âThe bar should be insanely high. It would have to be something really remarkable.
Is anyone ruling out Tatis doing something tomorrow night that would force the filmmakers to go their separate ways in a few more seconds?
This is what comes out of the film: the amount of material it has provided in such a short time.
The documentary is a fun watch. The material provided by Tatis’ exploits alone is worth watching – or for most Padres fans, seeing it again. Tatis is also outspoken and revealing on many subjects, just like his father. In their commentary, Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Martinez seem genuinely in awe of Tatis.
There were reasons to be skeptical when viewing. This is, after all, a documentary made by the league-owned network. The film is sponsored by Gatorade. I appreciate everything Tatis is. He is arguably the most exciting player the game has ever known. He changed the way people see and think about the way baseball is played, what is possible and what is acceptable. But he is 22 years old and has played 217 games in the big leagues.
There’s a reason Mike Trout is the only other active player MLB Network featured in a documentary.
âWith the current castâ¦ there aren’t many years of conflict, not many years of statistics, not many years of drama,â said Bruce Cornblatt, the documentary’s senior coordinating producer. âAll of those things go into (making movies about) George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn. But with Fernando, you’ve got the dad, you’ve got the bat flips, you’ve got the injuries, you’ve got the franchise rejuvenation, you’ve got the face of baseball. There are so many underlying stories for a person of such a young age. It’s amazing.
- Weathers, who a Padres official said has a chance to throw again this season based on the results of the initial tests taken yesterday, was sailing against the Rockies. He had thrown hitting on the first pitch to six of the nine batters he faced. And he had pitched two catches in the first three pitches to four of six batters who saw more than two pitches. He continued the improved drive he had shown in his previous departure. In his last two starts, Weathers pitched a first pitch to 19 of 30 batters (63%) after making it to just 53% of the 206 batters he had faced previously. In the last two games, he threw two catches in the first three pitches to 13 of 20 batters (65 percent). He had only done it 53 percent of the time.
- Eric Hosmer had two hits for the sixth time in his last 11 games. He hits .378 with a base percentage of .425 in that time frame.
- Tatis came off without a hitting for a third straight game, just the third time in his career that he has endured such a stretch.
- Two of the Padres’ three infielders made mistakes in the ninth inning yesterday. Third baseman Manny Machado made his first mistake since June 1 (a span of 35 games and 96 chances) trying to throw in what was considered a single down the infield. Second baseman Jake Cronenworth also threw in what would have been a double play late in the inning.
Musgrove’s goal the day after a start is to assess and move on.
“I was in a worse situation when I got home and was destroying the exit, thinking of what I could have done differently,” he said yesterday morning after making 94 throws to finish 4 1/3 sleeves Saturday.
It helped that after coming back from training on the field and a long discussion with pitching coach Larry Rothschild and reliever Mark Melancon, Musgrove was surprised on the field and then played a game of wrestling with a friend.
Landis Sims, whom Musgrove met last year through filmmaker Eric Cochran, was in Petco Park yesterday for a meeting coordinated by Johnson and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The Sims, 15, are deficient in limbs, born without hands or legs. Musgrove worked with The Sims last year and the two have kept in touch via text message.
After chatting for a few minutes yesterday morning, Sims and Musgrove played wrestling in front of the Padres’ canoe. Sims throws from his glove. There wasn’t one person watching who didn’t marvel that each of the Sims’ throws was right on Musgrove’s chest.
The 15-year-old from Indiana has just completed his freshman year of high school. He was 4-for-11 as a pinch hitter during his high school season. He strikes with a prosthesis that connects his arms to the bat.
“It feels good to be able to make an impact in someone else’s life, especially someone like Landis who is at a distinct disadvantage compared to a lot of other athletes and a lot of other human beings,” Musgrove said. âIt’s inspiring. It’s motivating to see someone clearly at a disadvantage working as hard as me.
Okay, that’s it for me.
No newsletter for a few days. There will be a lot of coverage online as we follow the Padres All-Stars for the next two days and then get ready for the second half.
I’m talking to you on Saturday.