A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Reason

I feel like I'm usually the last to hear the news.  I guess it's because I don't have cable, and most of the websites I frequent are focused on either music or baseball.  Even then, though, I miss out on some baseball news because I usually narrow my focus to the Padres.  However, the rare times that the Padres are in the news, I'm all over it.

As you may or may not have heard, the Padres made a trade deadline deal with their in-division rivals, the second place Diamondbacks.  They gave up relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor league pitcher Matt Stites, and a draft pick for starting pitcher Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy is having a down year, as he's gone 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 2013.  Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes is big on him, as he's traded for him twice (Byrnes worked for Arizona when they got him in a trade with the Yankees).  He won 21 games in 2011, and San Diego fans are hoping that the change of scenery will help him get his groove back.

Joe Thatcher is a very solid bullpen guy.  He's currently 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA.  He's got an unorthodox delivery that's difficult to pick up, and he's got a wicked 8.7 strikeouts per 9 innings.  You hate to see a guy like that go.  Still, here's a pretty telling stat: he's appeared in 50 games this year, yet has only thrown 30 innings.  Lots of times, he'll come in and face a batter or two, and then he's gone.  I'm not sure if it's because that's just how Bud Black wants to use him, or if he's just horrible against righties, but when it comes down to it, a decent starting pitcher will have more of an impact with the current team than Thatcher has.

I've been devouring lots of analysis on this trade, and a lot of people are saying that the D-Backs were looking to get rid of Kennedy because of the bad attitude and/or bad year he was having.  The last thing I'd want on the Padres would be a player with a bad attitude, so hopefully the fresh start will be good for him.  Pitching in Petco can lighten a player's mood pretty quickly, I'd imagine.  As far as his numbers are concerned, consider this stat that I pulled off the Padres website:

The Padres went into their game Tuesday against the Reds with the second-highest ERA among NL starting pitchers (4.66), ahead of only the Brewers (4.70).

There is definitely place on the roster for Kennedy, down year or not, when your Opening Day starter was Edinson freaking Volquez, who has a 5.68 ERA and leads the league in earned runs.  Hopefully pitching coach Darren Balsley can work with him and get him back on track.

I guess I'm just excited that the Padres made a move.  All offseason, they were quiet, even though it was painfully obvious that the starting rotation was super weak, their only move being the re-signing of Jason Marquis.  Even if Kennedy fails to return to form, they're trying to get something going, and it seems like that hasn't always been the case in San Diego.  Definitely not Cliff Lee, but he's something.

Oh, and at the very least, the Kennedy acquisition is another reason for the Dodgers to hate the Padres even more.  They'll face each other in Chavez Ravine at the end of August, and I'm not sure how "friendly" those confines will be for Kennedy and Carlos Quentin, assuming that both are heathy and playing.

By the way, this is my 400th post of this here blog.  Sorry, no confetti or streamers.  Just cards and news that nobody cares about.


  1. wooooo! congrats on 400 posts. :)

  2. Happy 4005h, Marcus! I just hit my 41st, so I have a long way to catch up with you.