<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Padres]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/feature/san-diego-padres http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:37:03 -0800 Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:37:03 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Quentin Reinventing Himself]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:58:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/165*120/GettyImages_495662115.jpg

Nobody has ever doubted Carlos Quentin’s ability to play baseball. The problem has been his ability to play baseball.

Quentin’s talent and impact are undeniable. The 2-time All-Star simply hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Since joining the Padres in 2012, Quentin has never played more than 86 games. In his 9-year career, he’s never played more than 131 games. Injuries have wiped out the rest.

But, Quentin still has lots of baseball left in him.

“I still feel I can be productive,” says Quentin. “The ball still comes off my bat, yes.”

The San Diego native watched in the off-season as the Padres added piece after piece and morphed in to playoff contenders.

“The city of San Diego should be extremely excited,” says Quentin. “The new ownership really changed things. They really brought in a lot of different guys and I think the city is really responding. There’s a buzz around town.”

The problem for Carlos is a lot of the guys who came in (Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers) play Quentin’s position. So, the outfielder was subject to trade rumors. Would an American League team bring him on to be a designated hitter? But, there is another option: Switching positions.

Quentin brought a first baseman’s glove to Arizona for the first time in his career. The change seems to have rejuvenated him.

“Yeah, I mean I’m enjoying learning a new position. My entire career I’ve been an outfielder. I’ve played outfield since high school (at Cathedral Catholic). It’s a lot of fun to do something different.”

The footwork at first base is much different, and can be taxing on the knees, but so far Quentin has had no issues with the move.

“The footwork is different, but everything’s different. It’s the infield. You’ve got to be prepared for the ball every single time. It’s actually easier to focus because you’re focusing every time the pitch is thrown. In the outfield you’ve really got to work on staying focused because you might not get the ball the entire game.”

"He's doing fine," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's getting his grounders, he's getting all the subtleties of the position, he's learning our bunt plays, he's learning the cutoff and relay system. Carlos is a sharp guy. He knows baseball. He's working hard at it, so it's been fun for him."

For now, Yonder Alonso is penciled in as the starting first baseman. But he’s been working more and more at third base, as well, which might open up a little more playing time for Quentin, adding one more bat with 30 home run pop to the Padres already potent lineup.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: First Pitcher Is Revealed]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:37:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/167*120/GettyImages_452851902.jpg

Padres manager Bud Black shared a secret on Saturday morning. We now know who the team's opening day starter will be. The Cactus League opening day starter, that is.

Left-handed reliever Jason Lane will take the ball when the Padres play the Mariners in their annual charity game on Wednesday. Among the reasons for the decision is Lane is one of the closest guys on the staff to being game-ready.

Minor league prospect Justin Hancock is also scheduled to throw in the exhibition opener.

As for the regular season Opening Day starter, that's still up in the air. Now, this is purely speculative, but the guy who gets the ball on Saturday, March 7, which would be the fourth Cactus League game against the Giants in Scottsdale, might be the answer.

If the Padres were already setting up their regular rotation based on pitching every fifth day (and Buddy says they have things "mapped out"), the person who goes on the 7th would have his spot naturally come up on April 6th, which is the first real game of the year against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Players Debate Color of "the Dress"]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:43:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Padres_Talk_About_Color_Of_The_Dress_NBC_RSH-MCDS_1200x675_405681219524.jpg Blue and black? White and gold? The world is divided over "the Dress." Professional sports franchises are often defined by the color of their uniforms so at Padres Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona, NBC7's Derek Togerson asked some of the Padres players what they see. If anything can divide a clubhouse, this is it.]]> <![CDATA[Tony Gwynn Remembered in San Diego]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:27:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gwynn-Fans-4.jpg Legendary San Diego Padres baseball player Tony Gwynn was honored by fans after he died Monday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Season in Images]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:30:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+85+8.jpg Relive all the great moments from the San Diego Padres' 2014 season in photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Bud Black]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:39:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Padres-Spring-Training-bag-.jpg The Padres won games last season primarily because of their pitching. Bud Black expects more of the same. NBC 7's Jim Laslavic reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Who Hits First?]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:45:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages_456113586.jpg

Although the Padres overhauled their roster this off-season, they could not possibly get to all the issues that need addressing. The addition of power and youth were paramount, and both accomplished.

There's a lot of new pop in the lineup. Matt Kemp, Justin Upston, Wil Myers and Derek Norris can all drive in runs. The question is, who will be the runners they drive in?

The Padres don't have a true leadoff hitter anywhere on the projected, Opening Day 25-man roster. But, don't worry. Neither do most teams.

"In this day and age, I think the true, prototypical leadoff hitter is hard to find," said Padres manager Bud Black. "There are some out there. I think (Marlins second baseman) Dee Gordon is a prototypical one. Obviously, Rickey Henderson was probably, arguably the best leadoff hitter of all time."

If you have to go that far back, you know there's a dearth of "true" leadoff hitters in the 2015 world of Major League Baseball. So, since there's not a guy who really stands out (prospects Rico Noel and Jose Rondon seem to fit the mold but they're not MLB-ready yet), who does Buddy see as the guy who sets the table?

"I think if you look at (Will) Venable, (Cameron) Maybin, (Wil) Myers, (Yangervis) Solarte ... let's get started there," said Black

Shortstop Alexi Amarista is one option many people thought would be in the mix for the top spot in the order because of his speed, but a low on-base percentage has Black thinking something else.

"Alexi and (fellow shortstop Clint) Barmes fit, maybe, down at the bottom of the order."

Catcher Derek Norris is another guy people thought would have a shot at leading off. He has that high OBP, but not the speed you need from a leadoff guy, so Black sees him in the middle of the order with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks.

When Cactus League play begins, expect to see multiple guys getting the first at-bat of the game.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Full Squad Workouts Begin in Peoria]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:13:43 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san-diego-padres-generic-sp.jpg A look at the first full squad workouts for the San Diego Padres in Peoria on February 25, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Padres Hold First Full-Squad Workout]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:14:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages_111029349.jpg

Matt Kemp has been in Peoria since pitchers and catchers reported last week. On Wednesday, he was out on the field with the rest of his new Padres team mates for the Friars' first full squad workout of Spring Training 2015.

This team has gotten an awful lot of buzz over the last few months. The new outfielder believes it's warranted.

"I feel like we can be one of the best teams in baseball," said Kemp.

Every player on every team says that every February. The difference is, this time he might be right. The Padres project to have enviable pitching staffs, from the starting rotation to the bullpen, and a formidable offense. Advanced statistical metrics say they'll take a step back on defense, but they're banking on the offensive improvement to more than compensate.

With Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers forming a new, more athletic and productive outfield, San Diego has far more OF than they can carry. So the Padres are moving a few pieces around.

Oft-injured left fielder Carlos Quentin has been working at first base in the off-season and will give that position a shot during Cactus League play. Aside from Yonder Alonso and Tommy Medica, the Padres don't have many options at first so Quentin could work his way in to some playing time there.

If he shows the ability to handle the position, it makes keeping his $8 million contract easier to keep around and could make him more attractive as a trade chip.

Derek Togerson and photojournalist Dave Smith will be in Peoria for Spring Training starting Friday, February 27. Be sure to visit www.nbc7.com/sportswrap for updates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Randy Jones Likes Padres Changes]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:26:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Randy+Jones+Brown+Uniform.jpg

Randy Jones won a Cy Young award for the Padres. If that wasn't enough to endear him to the Friars faithful, after retiring he stayed in San Diego and became ingrained in the community.

Jones keeps close tabs on the franchise, working with them as a Spring Training instructor and a radio analyst for the pre- and post-game shows on The Mighty 1090. What makes Randy so darn fun to listen to is his knowledge and the fact he has no problem saying EXACTLY what is on his mind.

Good, bad or ugly, you will hear the truth. I talked with Jones before he heads out to Peoria again about his take on young pitchers, and got a very interesting bit of insight on a part of the program that didn't get much attention, but could turn the franchise in to a perennial winner.

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<![CDATA[Who Will Be Padres' First Starter?]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:43:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres6P0222_1200x675_402923587964.jpg NBC 7's Derek Togerson reports on pitchers as spring training begins.]]> <![CDATA[Padres Manager Prepares For Pivotal SpringTraining]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:15:13 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/Bud+Black+Peoria.jpg

Padres pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, AZ on Thursday. The greatest off-season in San Diego sports history (it never gets old writing that) has given manager Bud Black a bounty of talent to work with.

So, the pressure is certainly on. Since taking over in 2007, Black has taken the Padres to the brink of the post-season twice, but never reached the playoffs. Now, he's never had a roster even remotely close to this one to work with, so the 2010 National League Manager Of The Year is facing arguably more pressure now than he ever has before.

Here's the Padres Opening Night starting lineup from 2014 against the Dodgers at Petco Park:

P - Andrew Cashner
C - Rene Rivera
1B - Yonder Alonso
2B - Jedd Gyorko
3B - Chase Headley
SS - Everth Cabrera
LF - Tommy Medica
CF - Will Venable
RF - Chris Denorfia

Now, here's a look at the Padres projected Opening Day starting lineup for 2015 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles:

P - James Shields
C - Derek Norris
1B - Yonder Alonso (although with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, Tommy Medica coould get the nod here as a right-handed hitter)
2B - Jedd Gyorko
3B - Will Middlebrooks
SS - Alexi Amarista
LF - Justin Upton
CF - Wil Myers
RF - Matt Kemp

That kind of turnover for the better simply does not happen in a three month span in professional sports.

This year, we cannot write off a slow start to a lack of depth and a dearth of talent (well, unless injuries wipe out his entire starting outfield). It's on the manager to bring all these new pieces together, one of the questions I asked him as he prepared for the most exciting trip to Peoria in Padres history.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[James Shields: "This Is About Winning Now"]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:58:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/James-Shields-Getty-closeup.jpg

San Diego Padres fans heard from the team's newest addition, right-handed pitcher James Shields Wednesday.

Shields spoke along with Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller and Manager Bud Black.

"It's incredible the change and the willingness to win," Shields said about the Padres. "This organization is ready to win now and that's what attracted me."

On Sunday night, Preller continued the most improbable off-season in San Diego sports history by announcing Shield's contract agreement.

The four-year contract is worth $75 million.

That's over and above the 2007, $52 million deal the Padres made with Jake Peavy after his National League Cy Young Award, the team reported.

Shields recently moved to Rancho Santa Fe and said it's amazing to be able to play in the same city where he and his family live.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Caravan to Travel Around County]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 14:11:28 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/164293623.jpg

The Padres caravan will hit the road in San Diego Friday, making stops across the county with players as tickets for the upcoming season go on sale.

Padres players, coaches, executives, broadcasters and staff from the team will spend February 6, 7 and 8 volunteering, meeting with fans and visiting members of the military and first responders.

The first stop on the trip will be in Mission Beach Park. There, team members and staff will launch the new Padres Volunteer Team with representatives from Toyota. The county-wide initiative will bring together players and fans to donate their time to the community.

On Sunday morning, players will hand out jerseys and caps to San Diego American Little League players as a part of their Future Padres initiative, now in its fourth year. 15,000 youth baseball players in more than 50 leagues will have Padres gear by 2015.

The caravan will make additional stops throughout the weekend, including stops at Westfield UTC on Saturday at 11 a.m., the Otay Ranch Town Center at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Padres Store Tienda de Los Padres in Tijuana, and the Northgate Gonzalez Market at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Single-game tickets will also go on sale Friday to the general public at 9 a.m. online and will be the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Invite 18 Non-Roster Players to Spring Training]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 01:07:08 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/164293623.jpg

The Padres have invited 18 players who are not already on the roster to their 2015 Major League Spring Training. For me, this is one of the most fascinating parts of the roster building process.

The 18 players are a range of former All-Stars trying to regain their form and stick a few more years in the Big Leagues like relief pitcher Jose Valverde, who has led three different teams in saves; draft picks with big signing bonuses trying to force their way on to an Opening Day roster a little earlier than expected, like Austin Hedges; and journeymen, the guys who have been in professional baseball for years but never really established themselves as every day Big Leaguers like Marcos Mateo.

One guy who Padres fans will be keeping a close eye on (as long as A.J. Preller doesn't trade him for Mike Trout or something) is outfielder Hunter Renfroe. San Diego's outfield is stacked with talent after a series of off-season trades, but Renfroe, the team's first round pick in 2013, is already knocking  on the door thanks to his prodigious pop (You can see the kind of power Renfroe possesses here).

If he goes nuts with the bat in the Cactus League the Padres will be severely tempted to put him on the Opening Day roster, perhaps even moving him to 1st base.

Here's the full list of this year's non-roster invitees:

Right-Handed Pitchers:

Justin Hancock
Jay Jackson
Marcos Mateo
Jose Valverde
Matt Wisler

Left-Handed Pitchers:

Scott Elbert
Jason Lane
Chris Rearick

Infielders:

Jake Goebbert
Diego Goris
Ramiro Pena
Brett Wallace

Outfielders:

Rico Noel
Hunter Renfroe

Catchers:

Cody Decker
Griff Erickson
Rocky Gale
Austin Hedges



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Sign Seven]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 20:25:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/168*120/Cashner+Padres+Win.jpg

A.J. Preller has been so busy bringing in guys from other teams, it's easy to forget he had a bunch of players on the roster who needed attending to.

Seven Padres filed for salary arbitration. None of them will go to a hearing. On Friday, the Padres announced all seven guys have agreed to a new contract.

Here is the full list:

Alexi Amarista (IF/OF) : 2 years, $2.5 million
Andrew Cashner (RHP) : 1 year, $4 million
Ian Kennedy (RHP) : 1 year, $9.85 million
Tyson Ross (RHP) : 1 year,  $5.25 million
Shawn Kelley (RHP) : 1 year, $2.8 million
Dale Thayer (RHP) : 1 year, $1.3 million
Yonder Alonso (1B) : 1 year, $1.6 million

This gives Preller time to either try and work out long-term contracts with the guys he sees as part of the Padres' future, as well as avoids any arbitration hearings, which can get a little messy.

Friday's signings mean the Padres will likely have an Opening Day payroll of right around $90 million. In fact, it will be almost exactly the same figure they opened the 2014 season with. That number (which does not include money like the more than $5 million that will go to Cory Luebke, if he's ready for Spring Training or not) will change a bit more as Preller massages the roster.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Padres Continue Search For Players]]> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:57:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/Dillon+Gee+Mets.jpg

In his never-ending quest to acquire baseball players, Padres General Manager A.J. Preller will talk/listen to any team at any time about anyone. Now he’s talking about making a trade for the Mets’ Opening Day starter.

New York has put Dillon Gee on the trade block. The 28-year-old right-hander has become expendable as the Mets load up on young starting pitching and anticipate getting Matt Harvey back from elbow surgery.

In his first eight starts of 2014, Gee was 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Then he inujred a back muscle, missed two months and was not as effective after the All-Star break, losing seven of his last 11 decisions. Gee is not eligible for free agency until 2017, so he fits the mold Preller has been looking for … Younger, established players with controllable contracts.

Gee uses four pitches, a fastball, slider, change and curve. He’s not dominant with any of them but challenges hitters in the strike zone and gets by with his highly competitive nature. However, the one caveat with any pitcher coming to the Padres is, let him work with Pitching Coach Darren Balsley for a bit and we’ll see just how good he can be.

With the Padres, he would figure to be a back-to-the rotation starter or long reliever. It would be interesting to see how Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson approaches a possible trade with his former team. The Rockies, Giants, Royals and Rangers are also rumored to be interested in Gee.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Add Bullpen Depth]]> Sat, 10 Jan 2015 18:05:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/493791987.jpg

Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is a machine. After all the trades, the signings, the additions and subtractions, Preller struck again on Saturday, signing another 3-time All-Star.

This one didn’t get the same kind of fanfare as some of the Padres other additions, though. The All-Star in question is relief pitcher Jose Valverde.

The man they call Papa Grande agreed to a minor league contract with San Diego. He’ll try to earn a roster spot out of Spring Training.

Valverde has led the Major Leagues in saves for three different teams (the Diamondbacks, Astros and Tigers) but has slowed down considerably the last couple of seasons. Valverde, who will turn 37 in March, has only saved 11 games and thrown 40 innings over the last two years.

The Padres added two more relievers on minor league contracts on Saturday. Former Dodgers lefty Scott Elbert, who has overcome three elbow surgeries, agreed to come south from Los Angeles while former Cubs righty Marcos Mateo, who last appeared in a big league game in 2011, will try to earn a spot in the Padres bullpen. Elbert is 29 and Mateo is 30, so while they don’t have a ton of MLB experience, they are veterans who have put up solid minor league numbers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Now Padres Recruiting Has Gotten Ridiculous]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:50:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*130/456055540.jpg

Right now, I'm not sure if Padres General Manager A.J. Preller should be commended or committed. Perhaps both. What he has done, and continues to do, with the Padres roster is astonishing.

The Chargers are a day away from playing a football game in December that could mean the difference in making the playoffs or not, and they've become an afterthought. It's all Padres all the time, and Preller is not showing signs of slowing down.

On the day the Friars introduced Matt Kemp and finalized a trade for Wil Myers, the ever-busy Preller worked another deal with the Braves to bring 27-year-old, 2-time All-Star Justin Upton to San Diego. Atlanta gets a package of four minor league prospects in return (LHP Max Fried, IF Dustin Peterson, IF Jace Peterson, OF Mallex Smith). San Diego also gets minor league right-hander Aaron Northcrarft in the deal.

Upton is in the final year of a 5-year, $50 million contract. The Padres will give him $14.5 million for 2015. Even if it is just a one-year rental, it's likely going to be one heck of a year. Upton hit 29 home runs and drove in a career-high 102 runs with the Braves last season. Defensively, Upton has incredible physical gifts and a long list of highlight reel catches on his resume, but is prone to mistakes and occasionally doesn't play up to his athletic potential.

However, that should not be a problem for the Padres in 2015. Upton is in a contract year and returning to the National League West, a place he knows well. Upton spent six years in Arizona before a trade took him to Georgia ahead of the 2013 season.

Upton will likely play left field in the new-look Padres outfield, with Kemp in right. According to Padres manager Bud Black, Myers is tentatively the centerfielder, but with seven outfielders now on the roster and under contract for 2015, a few deals still need to be made.

In a separate deal on Friday, the Padres beefed up their infield, agreeing to a deal with the Red Sox for 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks. Boston will get catcher Ryan Hanigan, who just came over from Tampa in the Myers deal, in return. Injuries have derailed Middle brooks' career a bit, but the power potential is there.

Over the first 169 games of his career (split between 2012 and 2013), Middlebrooks hit 32 home runs with 103 RBI. He only hit two home runs in 63 games last season, when he went to the disabled list twice with a calf strain and a broken finger. Middlebrooks projects as an average to slightly above-average defensive 3rd baseman.

So far, it appears Preller's plan to add offense has worked amazingly well. He's gotten the players he wants. Now we'll see how good he is at unloading the players he doesn't want (and likely nobody else does, either).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kemp Is Officially Coming To San Diego]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:16:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/456663944.jpg

Let me be the first to congratulate Padres General Manager A.J. Preller on winning the 2015 MLB Executive of the Year Award.

Preller was officially hired on August 8th. On December 18th, he endeared himself to Padres fans in a way no front office member has since Kevin Towers put together a World Series club in 1998 (we’ll leave it there and not mention the fallout).

Let’s take a quick look back at the week that was for Preller:

Thursday, 12/11/14: On the final day of the MLB Winter Meetings the Padres and Dodgers agreed to a trade that will bring All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to the Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and minor league pitcher Zach Eflin. The deal will immediately upgrade the Padres’ near-historically bad offense and inject enthusiasm in to a fan base desperate for star power. Eventually.

Tuesday, 12/16/14: During Kemp’s physical, San Diego doctors discover Kemp has arthritis in both hips. Preller uses this information to bring the Dodgers back to the negotiating table, presumably to re-work the details of the transaction or ask Los Angeles to insure Kemp’s contract. The information being made public upsets the L.A. front office (bonus points for Preller!).

Wednesday, 12/17/14: The Padres, Rays and Nationals work a 3-team, 11-player trade. San Diego receives outfielder Wil Myers (2013 AL Rookie of the Year), catcher Ryan Hanigan (statistically the best defensive catcher in baseball not named Yadier Molina), and minor league pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo. The Padres give up catcher Rene Rivera (2014’s breakout star), along with first baseman Jake Bauers, pitchers Burch Smith and Joe Ross, and shortstop Trea Turner (all currently in the minor leagues).  Myers is getting over an elbow injury that limited his production in 2014, but at the age of 24 is still expected to be an impact player. The deal is expected to be finalized on Friday, 12/19/14.

Thursday, 12/18/14: After wrangling for a few days, the Kemp trade finally becomes official. Preller also signs starting pitcher Josh Johnson to a one-year contract worth less than $2 million Performance incentives can push the contract to nearly $8 million, the amount Johnson got for 2014 despite having Tommy John surgery and never appearing in a game for the Padres. Johnson has resumed throwing activities. Even if he comes back as a relief pitcher, a guy with his pedigree at that price is a smart, low-risk, high-reward move. The Padres also finalize a trade with the Oakland A’s to bring All-Star catcher Derek Norris and minor-league pitcher Seth Streich to Petco Park in exchange for pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez. Norris is an elite offensive catcher (10 HR, 55 RBI, .270 average in his first full season as a starter), but with Hanigan in the mix it’s possible he will move to first base for the Padres.

So, let’s recap. In an eight day span A.J. Preller oversaw the movement of 21 players, three All-Stars (all coming to San Diego), and an influx of $32 million. Oh, and there are more moves to come.

San Diego now has six outfielders and three catchers under contract for 2015. Assuming they go with manager Bud Black’s preferred strategy of carrying 12 pitchers that only leaves four roster spots. Since most MLB teams prefer to play with that many infielders, plus have at least one in reserve, we have not seen the end of Preller’s wheeling and dealing ways.

Oh, by the way, this is interesting. Thursday marked the 133rd day of Preller’s tenure as Padres G.M. That’s exactly 19 weeks.

How fitting is it for THAT to be the number that excites Padres fans again?



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Trade for Myers]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:35:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

On Wednesday the Padres pulled the trigger on a trade that, pending physicals, would nab them 23-year old outfielder Wil Myers from the Rays.

In the three-team deal the Padres acquire Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year, catcher Ryan Hanigan and a pair of prospects.

In return Tampa Bay gets catcher Rene Rivera, pitcher Burch Smith and minor-leaguer Jake Bauers.

The third team in the deal, Washington, will receive pitcher Joe Ross (Tyson's brother) and the Padres top pick in the 2014 draft, shortstop Trea Turner.



Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Offense Gets An Upgrade]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:23:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/456280776.jpg

In 2014, the Padres had the worst offense in baseball, and it was not even close. San Diego ranked last in MLB in the following offensive categories:

-    Runs Scored
-    Runs Batted In
-    Hits
-    Batting Average
-    On-Base Percentage
-    Slugging Percentage
-    Doubles

There’s more, but that paints a pretty good picture. When the Padres hired A.J. Preller in August, he knew he had a major offensive rebuilding project on his hands. This is a nice way to start.

Sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the Padres and Dodgers agreed to the biggest trade of the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings. San Diego is sending catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland, and minor league starting pitcher Zach Eflin to the Dodgers for All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz, plus about $31 million.

Kemp provides an immediate and MASSIVE improvement for the Padres offense. In 2014, Grandal led the Padres with 15 home runs and Jedd Gyorko led the team with 51 runs batted in. Kemp alone had 17 home runs and 54 runs batted in.

AFTER THE ALL-STAR BREAK.

The 2011 National League MVP (yes, I took it away from Ryan Braun in my head) battled hamstring, ankle and shoulder injuries the last few years, but his big second half coincided with a clean bill of health. Kemp turned 30 in September and has another five years on his contract, so Preller got an impact power hitter who’s still in his prime and under financial control for the near future, a combination the Padres have not had since Adrian Gonzalez arrived in 2006. The Friars are really only on the hook for about $75 million for Kemp over five years, still the largest financial commitment the franchise has ever made.

Now, if there’s a concern (other than the injury history), it’s that Kemp came from a situation where he had guys like Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig around him in the lineup. He won’t have that kind of help at Petco Park, so unless Preller is able to add another respected hitter, something he is still trying to do, it’s likely Kemp will lead the league in walks.

The Dodgers had a logjam in their outfield with Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all getting paid big bucks, so Kemp became the odd man out. Los Angeles needed offensive help behind the plate, so they coveted Grandal, who became expendable when Rene Rivera emerged as the best catcher on the roster and one of the best defensive backstops in all of baseball. Federowicz will provide depth until top prospect Austin Hedges is ready for The Show, which should not take more than another year or two.

The Dodgers also fill a need in acquiring Wieland, who is a good fit as a long relief pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Los Angeles has had trouble getting from their front-line starting pitchers to closer Kenley Jansen.

The deal is not yet official because the players involved need to take physicals and the Commissioner’s office has to give final approval due to the large amount of money trading hands. But, when it is finalized, the Padres are a whole lot better than they were on Tuesday, and Preller has already ingratiated himself to Padres fans.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres to Acquire Matt Kemp: Report]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 07:39:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/matt-kemp-generic-dodgers-1.jpg

Seasoned veteran outfielder and hitter Matt Kemp is about to become a San Diego Padre, according to a published report.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the 30-year-old Kemp would be traded to the Padres with back-up catcher Tim Federowicz, citing unnamed sources.

In exchange the Dodgers would take 26-year-old Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal and two pitching prospects, according to the newspaper.

The Dodgers would also pay $30 million of the $107 million remaining on Kemp's contract, the newspaper reported.

The Padres will get a big boost to their offense which ranked dead last in the National League according to NBC Sports.

The deal is expected to be finalized Thursday before the conclusion of baseball's Winter Meetings in San Diego.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Padres could not confirm the report to NBC 7.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Loosen Their Purse Strings]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 18:13:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/AJ+Preller+2.jpg

For decades, the Padres have done things on a shoestring budget. Instead of being in the hunt for a guy like Albert Pujols, they would go all in on Alberto Gonzalez.

Now, all of a sudden, that seems to be changing.

Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings got going in earnest in Downtown San Diego on Monday. It would appear Padres General Manager A.J. Preller has his fingers in an awful lot of pies. After offering monster contracts to, but losing out on, Pablo Sandoval and Yasmany Tomas, Preller has been talking to teams about acquiring some big-name players and their big-dollar deals.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Reds outfielder Jay Bruce are on the radar. They both have 10-figure annual salaries. Finally, the Friars are (at least on the surface) serious about contending in the current MLB economy.

"We don't really want to tie ourselves down and say we just have to focus on this one category of player," Preller told me on Monday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. "I think you get the best ideas when you have the most information and a chance to look at everybody, then filter that down to maybe the two, three, four players that night work for us."

The problem has been, those players are out of the Padres' price range. This year, though (again, on the surface), San Diego is not shying away from parting with piles of cash.

"We hired A.J. with the intent to unleash him and unleash the team that he's put together underneath him," Padres President & C.E.O. Mike Dee told me. "He's going to work hard, and he has our full support."

For once, it appears that support is going to be of the financial variety. You can hear more of what Dee had to say about Preller by checking out my Facebook page here.

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<![CDATA[Padres Non-Tender Cabrera]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:08:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+625+1.jpg

In 2013 he was an All-Star. In 2015 he will be a free agent. That is the fate that awaits former Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera. In an expected move the club non-tendered the 28-year old on Tuesday. He is now free to sign with any team.

Cabrera played six seasons with the Padres, but appeared in just 90 games for the team in 2014, batting .232, while earning $2.45 million as a first-year arbitration eligible player. While on the disabled list with a bad hamstring, Cabrera was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Cabrera also served a 50-game suspension two years ago for violating the league's PED policy.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Earn Rights To Korean Pitcher]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:08:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/456251690.jpg

New Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is known for his ability to sign international talent. It didn't take him long to start bringing more diversity to Petco Park.

Or, at least, try to.  For $2 million, the Padres have won the bidding for South Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim, giving them 30 days of exclusive negotiating rights with the 26-year-old lefty.

Kim has a low-90's fastball and a good, hard slider but does tend to walk a lot of hitters and has an injury history.

If the Padres can work out a deal with Kim, he'll become the second player from the Korean Baseball Organization to come to the United States through the posting system. The first was Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Makeover: Petco Park Edition]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 19:38:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/petco+park+makeover.jpg

In the middle of the 2014 season, the Padres moved one of their left field scoreboards and caught some flack from fans. Turns out, they had a reason for the change.

On Thursday the Padres announced a massive change to the left field area at Petco Park, and when I say massive, I'm speaking literally.

A new high-definition video display system is replacing the video board that's been there since the stadium opened in 2004.

It's 61.2-feet tall by 123.6-feet wide, covering 7,564.32 square feet, the third-largest in Major League Baseball (behind Seattle's Safeco Field and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City). That's nearly five times the size of the current video screen (30-feet tall by 53-feet wide; 1,590 square feet). The entire board can be run full-screen to show live action or video replays, or it can be split into sections for statistical information, graphics and animations.

But that's not all! New LED ribbon boards spanning nearly 750 feet along the first and third base lines, as well as on the left field grandstand fascia, are going in.

Of course, a bigger board and more electronic screens take up more space, so seating will have to change a bit. Two new rows of seats (171 total) will be added to the front of the Left Field Lower Box spanning sections 126, 128, 130, 132 and 134, while 110 fixed seats will be removed from from the back rows of these sections. That back area will be replaced by a number of bar stool seats to create another fan gathering area.

The Left Field Upper Box overhang will also be scaled back and raised four feet. That means 192 existing seats will become 111 barstool seats.

Also, 610 seats from the top of the Left Field Reserved sections will be replaced by what the team calls a, "new social group space" that can hold 270 people.

All the changes will reduce Petco Park's overall seating capacity, but season ticket holders will have the option to choose new seats in at the same renewal price.

Oh, and there's one more change of note. The new seating arrangement is forcing the padded wall that runs from left field through left-center field to be brought in about three feet. It will also be lowered from eight feet to seven feet in height.

We'll have to wait and see how the alterations look aesthetically, but at this point, anything that might help the Padres score runs is a reason to be excited.

Demolition begins next week. All the changes are scheduled to be completed in time for the home opener on April 9 against the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

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<![CDATA[Padres Fire Hitting Coach Phil Plantier]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:41:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/phil+plantier.jpg

An anemic Padres offense has cost hitting coach Phil Plantier his job.

The team is expected to announce his firing later today after Plantier guided an offense that finished last in runs per game (3.3), batting average (.226), hits (1,199) and a slew of other offensive categories.

The rest of Padres manager Bud Black’s staff is expected to return, including assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell. There’s no word who will take over as hitting coach.

Plantier just finished his third season with the team. He was under contract through next year, according to MLB.com, which broke the story.

The Padres were shut out 19 times this season. Their .171 batting average in June was the lowest single month by a team in decades.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bud's Back]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:36:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

As expected there will be no change at manager for the Padres in 2015. In a dugout press conference on Monday General Manager made official what most close to the Padres already knew, Bud Black is keeping his job.

"I think at the end of the day we have a common sense of what we need to do to the ball club. I think there is a mutual respect there," Preller said.

In eight seasons as skipper of the Padres Black has two winning seasons ('07 & '10). He is under contract through 2015.



Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres End Season With Loss]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 23:13:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456113122_8.jpg

In a season where the pitching has been their strong suit, it let the Padres down in their final game of 2014. Starter Robbie Erlin (4-5) didn't make it out of the second inning in the Friars 9-3 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

Reliever Nick Vincent got knocked around in a four-run seventh inning that put the game away for the Giants.

The Padres ended the season at 77-85, a two-game improvement over the past two years.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peavy, Giants Top Padres]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 19:06:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456210204.jpg

For seven and a half years, Jake Peavy was among the most popular of Padres players. In 2009, he was traded to the White Sox, and stayed in the American League with Chicago and Boston until this year, when a mid-season trade to San Francisco sent him back to the N.L. West.

During all that time away, Peavy never had a chance to face the team for which he won the 2007 Cy Young Award. That changed on Saturday at AT&T Park, when the Giants met the Padres in the final game of the season.

Alas, there was none of the nostalgia you'd expect. It's only been five years, but the only guys still with the franchise from Jake's time are outfielder Will Venable, pitcher Tim Stauffer, manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley.

So, it was really just another day at the office for Peavy, who threw 5.0 innings, allowing one run and taking a no-decision in a game the Giants eventually won 3-1. The only run Jake allowed came on a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal that brought home (quite fittingly) Venable.

Padres starter Eric Stults was, as he's been for the last couple of months, fantastic. The lefty allowed one run in 7.0 innings, but since he once again received little run support (Stults was backed up by the 4th-fewest runs of any starter in the league) he took a no-decision.

With the game tied 1-1 in the 8th inning, Dale Thayer loaded the bases on a single, a fielder's choice, an error and two walks. After striking out Pablo Sandoval for the second out, Thayer gave up a bloop single to Brandon Crawford and the winning runs scored.

The Padres and Giants play the final game of the regular season (which will not be the final game of San Francisco's year) on Sunday in San Francisco. San Diego sends LHP Robbie Erlin to the mound against Chris Heston, who will make his first career Major League start.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Reach 77 Wins]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:03:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456166226.jpg

In 2011 and 2012, the Padres finished with 76 wins. Actually, the Padres had finished with 76 wins in four of the previous 14 seasons.

So, when they beat the Giants 4-1 behind a gem by Ian Kennedy on Friday night in San Francisco, there was a bit of a reason to celebrate.

The Friars earned their 77th win of 2014, meaning they will not be an even 10 games under .500 for the third straight year.

Seth Smith and Rene Rivera had big hits in a 3-run 7th inning that gave Kennedy all the cushion he needed. Ian threw 7.0 innings, striking out six while only allowing one unearned run.

Ian also went over the 200 innings pitched mark, the third time he's done that in his career. Kennedy is the first Padres right-handed pitcher to throw 200 innings since Jake Peavy in 2007.

The Padres can get ambitious and go for their 78th win on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Road Weary]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 23:10:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/456115160.jpg

Thursday was National Comic Book Day. So, in honor of the occasion, the Padres and Giants turned AT&T Park in San Francisco in to "Bizarro World."

The Padres offense scored a lot of runs. The Padres pitching staff gave up a lot of runs. Everything was backwards, and the Giants came out with a 9-8 win and a Wild Card spot (which they had already locked up because of the Brewers losing in the afternoon, but celebrating after a win is still more fun).

Andrew Cashner allowed six runs in 5.0 innings, putting San Francisco up 6-0. That's usually far too much for the Padres to overcome, but lo and behold, they pulled it off.

In the 6th inning, Will Venable and Yasmani Grandal hit home runs.

In the 7th inning, Grandal hit a grand slam and Rene Rivera smashed a solo homer, giving San Diego's hitters eight runs in a mere two innings. There have been times this season the Friars haven't scored eight runs in an entire series.

However, the normally reliable bullpen could not hold the lead. Blaine Boyer surrendered three runs in the 7th, giving the Giants the last runs they needed. It's the first time this season the Padres have scored at least seven runs and not won a game.

A night after beating the Rockies at home to finish with a 48-33 record at Petco Park (a new high mark for their 10-year-old home) the Padres were done in by their inability to win away from the East Village.

Only five teams in baseball have a better home record than the Padres. All five of them are going to the playoffs, while the Friars will finish under .500.

So, it appears they've solved the mystery of how to win at Petco. Now they have 29 other ballparks to figure out.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wieland Wins]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:33:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+1.jpg

It has been a long road back to the majors for Padres starter Joe Wieland. In just his second start since reconstructive surgery on his pitching elbow in 2012 Wieland collected his first big-league victory as the Padres outlasted the visiting Rockies 4-3 in their last home game of 2014.

Wieland (1-0) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs with one strikeout. Tommy Medica provided most of the offense. His three-run homer in the bottom of the first put the Padres up for good.

The Friars finish the season with a four-game series in San Francisco beginning Thursday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Winning Streak Over]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 22:58:03 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/erlin.jpg

All good things must come to an end and the Padres winning streak did just that after a 3-2 loss to the Rockies. The Friars had their chances, but a stout Colorado defense was the difference. 

Trailing by a run after a Drew Stubbs homer in the top of the eighth off of reliever Dale Thayer (4-4), the Rockies flashed some leather to secure the win. Brandon Barnes robbed Rene Rivera of a potential homer with a catch in left to start the eighth. Later, D.J. LeMahieu made a nice play at second base on a ball hit by Alexi Amarista to end the inning.

Padres starter Robbie Erlin lasted just four innings, but got a no decision. With the loss the Padres (75-82) are assured of another losing season. They wrap-up their home schedule of 2014 Wednesday night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Win Fifth Straight]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:24:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pic.jpg

Eric Stults took the mound Monday night at Petco Park with a 7-17 record. Numbers can be misleading because the veteran lefty has not pitched terrible this year, he's just been a little unlucky. Sure, there have been some game when Stults has not been sharp but sometimes when he's thrown well Stults has gotten very little run support.

On Monday he took matters into his own hands. Stults threw six-plus innings without giving up a run. He gave up a seven hits, got out of a few jams and was rewarded with his eight victory of the year after the Padres hung on for a 1-0 win over the Rockies.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the first when Rene Rivera hit a two-out double to score Jedd Gyorko. After Stults left in the seventh, four pitchers combined to keep the Rockies off the scoreboard for the Padres fifth straight win.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Complete Sweep]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:21:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/455888228.jpg

When the Giants arrived at Petco Park on Friday for their three-game series against the Padres they were 2 1/2 games behind the first place Dodgers in the NL West. On Sunday afternoon after getting swept by the Padres they left San Diego 4 1/2 games out.

Padres starter Ian Kennedy (12-13) got the win and reached the 200-strikeout milestone for the season. He's just the fourth Padre pitcher in history to do so.

The Padres put the game away with a four-run sixth inning and a three-run seventh and won 8-2.

Colorado comes to town for a three-game series starting Monday that will finish off the 2014 home schedule for the Friars.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashing In]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:48:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Padres starter Andrew Cashner did it with his arm and bat Saturday night in the Padres 3-2 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.

Cashner (5-7) pitched into the ninth inning and left allowing just two runs on four hits. He also was 2-for-2 at the plate with a triple (the first by a major league pitcher this season) and a swinging bunt.

It was the second straight excellent start for the big righty. Cashner was within three outs of his second straight two-hit shutout.

The Padres scored one run in the third and another two in the sixth. The Giants made it interesting, scoring twice in the ninth before Kevin Quackenbush secured the save.

The Padres go for a series sweep of the second place Giants Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. The Giants are three-and-a-half games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Win Another One At Home]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:12:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/455684350.jpg

The beginning of A Tale Of Two Cities is not exact, but the idea is a pretty good way to think about the Padres right now.

At Petco Park, they have been borderline unbeatable (the best of times). On the road, however, they couldn't even win an argument (the worst of times).

Behind home runs from Alexi Amarista and Will Venable, a balanced offensive attack that saw all eight starting position players get at least one hit, and a fantastic return to the mound by lefty Robbie Erlin (6.0 innings, five hits, one run), the Padres beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 to win three of the four games in the series.

That means, since the All-Star Break, the Padres have gone 7-0-1 in series played at Petco Park. Here's the problem. In series played away from the East Village (and there have been 11 of them) the Padres are 2-8-1.

Now, I'm not sure what causes that kind of split personality, but if the Padres can figure out a way to convince themselves they're in San Diego when they're really in another city, they might end up winning 120 games next year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Handles Padres]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:57:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/usa-cole-hamels-phillies-nationals.jpg

San Diego native Cole Hamels apparently likes pitching against the Padres. The Rancho Bernardo High alum has won his last six starts against the Friars and is 5-1 lifetime at Petco Park. On Wednesday night Hamels (9-7) threw seven innings and struck out nine as the Phillies beat the Padres 5-2.

The Padres got out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Cameron Maybin. That lead didn't last long. The Phillies responded in the top of the fifth with four runs on five hits. Padres starter Eric Stults (7-17) left in the fifth after all four runs scored.

The final game of the series is Thursday night at 6:10 p.m.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Amarista Lifts Padres]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:48:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+celebrate+77+7.jpg

The Padres scored two runs in the first inning, then added three more in the sixth and held on for a 5-4 win over the Phillies 5-4 on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Alexi Amraista was a triple short of the cycle. He doubled in the second, singled in the fourth, then hit a go-ahead two run homer in the sixth inning. Amarista's chance to be the first Padre ever to hit for the cycle ended when he grounded out to shortstop in the bottom of the eighth.

Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy threw six innings to get his 11th win of the season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashner Dominates Phils]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:53:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

Early on it was evident both starting pitchers brought their A-game to Petco Park on Monday night. As the strikeouts, ground outs and double plays mounted the game whizzed by at a breakneck pace. Two hours and eight minutes after the first pitch the contest was over. The Padres beat the Phillies 1-0 to open their final homestand of the season.

Cashner (4-7) struck out seven and allowed just two-hits in his second complete game shutout of the season. Phillies starter Jerome Williams (3-2) pitched into the eighth. His line was impressive as well. Williams struck out six, giving up just three hits, but in the end was the hard luck loser.

The Padres only run came in the second inning. Cashner was safe at first on an error by third baseman Cody Asche which allowed Rene Rivera to score.

Cashner's no-hit bid ended in the fifth. With a shift on, Dominic Brown laid a clean bunt single down the third base line.

Game two of the four-game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Lose in Arizona]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 23:15:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/padres+pics+77+2.jpg

A five run 5th inning by the Diamondbacks was the difference in their 8-6 win over the Padres at Chase Field on Sunday.

Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7) took the loss for the Padres. He gave up five runs before leaving in the sixth inning. Reliever Nick Vincent struggled in the eighth inning. He lasted just one-third of an inning, giving up three runs before his departure.

The Padres scored two runs in the top of the ninth, but got no closer.

The Friars return to San Diego for their final homestand. It begins with a game against the Rockies on Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Cash In Against Dodgers]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 22:50:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mets+preview+cashner.jpg

He did it on the mound. He did it with the bat. Padres starter Andrew Cashner (3-7) gave up two runs over seven innings to get his first win since April 16th. Cashner also drove in a pair of runs in the Padres 6-3 win Tuesday night over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

The Padres got to Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez (8-11) early. Cashner's 2-RBI double in the second started the scoring. He came across on a Cory Spangenberg single to make it 3-0 Padres.

Jedd Gyorko drove in a pair in the third on his tenth home run for the year. Hernandez was pulled after the inning.

With the win the Padres broke a six-game losing streak. The rubber game of the series is Wednesday evening and the last match-up of the year between the two. Ian Kennedy takes the hill for the Padres against Dan Haren.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw, Dodgers top Padres]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 22:55:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/clayton+kershaw+padres.jpg

The Padres scored three runs off of Clayton Kershaw but that wasn't enough. The Dodgers pushed nine across and beat the Friars 9-4 on Monday night at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw struck out eight over eight innings and improved his record to a MLB-best 18-3. Only one of the three runs scored against him was earned. Odrisamer Despaigne took the loss for the Padres. He's now 3-6 on the year.

The Padres have now lost six in a row. The Dodgers have won four straight and at 20-games over .500 lead the NL West by three and a half games over the Giants.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Padres Schedule Released]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:46:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/454359850.jpg

The 2014 Padres season is a lost cause, but it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2015!

MLB teams released their schedules for next year on Monday. The Padres open things up in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Monday, April 6.

The home opener is later that week, on Thursday, April 9 against the San Francisco Giants. The entire schedule can be seen below.

 

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Edged Again In Colorado]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 23:06:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454827484.jpg

Saturday night in Coors Field, Padres RHP Joe Wieland made his first Big League start since May of 2012 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Coors Field is not the place you want to make a triumphant return.

Wieland only lasted 2.1 innings, giving up two home runs (one a monster 2-run shot by Justin Morneau) and four runs on seven hits in Colorado's 7-6 win. The Rockies built a 6-2 lead, but Wieland was not saddled with a loss because the Padres offense actually woke up.

After going scoreless in their first 13 innings in Colorado (and scoring seven runs in their previous six games combined), the Padres bats finally remembered to make contact with the ball. Tommy Medica hit a solo home run and Cory Spangenberg smacked a 2-run blast to the opposite field as part of the comeback.

Spangenberg also hit a pinch-hit dinger Tuesday night at Petco Park to beat the Diamondbacks. He now has two home runs in 13 at-bats, giving him one more long ball than CF Cameron Maybin has in 202 at-bats.

A Seth Smith RBI single tied the game 6-6 in the 8th, ushering in extra innings.

The game finally ended in the 12th when Drew Stubbs singled home D.J. LeMahieu with the winning run. The Rockies go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Punchless In Colorado]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:44:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/454737694.jpg

It doesn't matter if the Padres are playing in Coors Field, the greatest run scoring mecca on the planet. It probably would not matter if they were playing in a ballpark on the moon. If Eric Stults is starting for them, San Diego's offense is probably not going to score any runs.

The Friars fell to the Rockies 3-0 Friday night in Denver. Stults, despite allowing just three runs in 6.1 innings (a very good effort in that yard), took the loss because his hitters could not muster more than three hits off rookie lefty Tyler Matzek.

Matzek's 3-hit shutout was nothing short of masterful in the mile-high air. In fact, it's only the eighth time in the Rockies' 22-year history one of their starters has allowed 3 or fewer hits in a complete game effort.

Stults has now started 28 games this season. The Padres have scored zero or one run for him 15 times. To quote Austin Powers:

"Ouch, baby. Very ouch."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Walkoff Wins it]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:20:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*240/padres+pics+85+9.jpg

It has been quite a debut for Padres rookie Cory Spangenberg. On Monday he made two fine defensive plays and drove in the go-ahead runs against the Diamondbacks. On Tuesday he delivered a walkoff win for the Padres.

With nobody on and one out Spangenberg came up to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth. He liked the first pitch he saw from Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler and promptly deposited it in the right field bleachers for a 2-1 Padres win.

Lost in the excitement was the job Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne did on the hill. Although he failed to get the decision Despaigne went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits.

Game three of the series is Wednesday night at Petco Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spangenberg Delivers in Debut]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:30:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bud-Black-Padres-168567365.jpg

Cory Spangenberg did it with his glove and bat in the Padres 3-1 win over the visiting Diamondbacks. He made two fine defensive plays and drove in two runs in his first major league game.

Friars starter Tyson Ross delivered another fine performance on the mound. He went six innings, allowing just one run on six hits.

Up 1-0 in the fifth Spangenberg singled to left scoring a pair. That 3-0 lead was more than enough for Ross, who pitched his 14th quality start in a row.

Game two of the four game series is Tuesday night at Petco Park.



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