I guess the obvious question is ‘what do you think the Padres will do at the trade deadline'? Are there players you expect to be traded?
Melvin Upton, Jr. has gone from being an albatross of a contract to an impressive asset. He's a shoe-in for a 20/20 season while also consistently showing off in center field. Derek Norris has probably seen his trade value drop thanks to a rough year, but there's some hope that A.J. Preller will move him. The Padres have Christian Bethancourt doing a really great job as backup catcher right now, and defensive wunderkind Austin Hedges has been an offensive powerhouse for the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas this season. Moving Norris means Hedges gets a real shot at starting, and that's something fans are dying for. And then there's Andrew Cashner and a scarce starting pitcher supply that could be big for San Diego.
Along the same line, there are rumors the Jays are looking at Andrew Cashner. Do you think he would be a good addition to a team hoping to make the playoffs?
Cash is a bit of an enigma. When he's at the top of his game, he's nearly unhittable. He has a couple one-hitters under his belt, including a game against the Pirates in 2013 where he faced the minimum 27 batters. His ace material that season carried into 2014 despite some time on the disabled list. He didn't look as good last year, but that could be chalked up to a miserable defense behind him and the stress of his mother's battle with cancer. But this year has seen more of the same. You can usually expect him to go six innings and give up three runs, but occasionally he'll get shelled. He'll have some pretty good outings, too, but he won't go deep. He could possibly shore up the back end of the rotation, but I wouldn't be happy to see him on the mound in October.
You have a former prospect of ours, Ryan Schimpf. How is he doing? What do you think of him?
Would you believe me if I told you he has a 1.016 OPS right now? He has nine home runs, all of them coming this month. He's hit more bombs in July than any other big leaguer (as the Padres themselves are on a power kick, going yard at least once in the last twenty-two games), so he's a bit of a fan favorite right now. His defense at second leaves a little something to be desired, and it's hard to say if he's really got staying power, but right now we're kind of in love with him.
I don't know much about your manager Andy Green. What do Padres fans think of him? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
It's hard to tell, really. This is Green's first year as skipper, and he came over from the Diamondbacks, so what little we've seen is all we have to go on. There haven't been a lot of obvious missteps, though sometimes he seems to play a bit conservatively, going to the bullpen too soon or saving a strong pinch hitter for a situation that may never come. He seems to be doing well on the player development side, with some of the younger guys showing some definite progress under his watch.
Who is your favorite Padre to watch?
Wil Myers, hands down. He could be tough to watch last year (when he wasn't injured), but moving him to first base has really worked wonders. He's doing a great job defensively, especially for his first year at the position, and his bat has come to life this season. Add the fact that he's a bit of a goofball that has a lot of fun with the game, it's not a surprise that his jersey was constantly sold out during All-Star Week.
I gotta ask....you are going to get to watch AL style ball in this series, which do you prefer AL or NL? Pitchers batting just doesn't seem interesting to me.
Are you trolling me right now? I thought Canadians were supposed to be super polite, except for their weird habit of adding extraneous u's to words that don't need them. Is this just what you're like when you haven't had your Tim Horton's? The designated hitter is a pox on baseball and if you made me commissioner today it's the first thing I would get rid of (the second thing, obviously, would be Dinger). I love the maneuvering that comes into play when you force a pitcher into a lineup and the black hole it usually puts in the batting order. But what I love even more is the surprise of a pitcher coming to the plate and actually hitting the ball hard for extra bases, especially in critical situations. I'm pitchers as hitters for life, here.
Can you give us a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers we are likely to see?
You'll be seeing the three pitchers who have stuck around all season, so I actually can! Colin Rea gets the mound tonight, and he's taken a step back after a promising start to his big league career last year. He doesn't throw hard, averaging a low-90s fastball, with a cutter and a curve for his secondary pitches. If he's on, you'll see a lot of ground balls. If he's not, you'll see why his HR/FB rate is up nearly 6% this season. Cashner has game two, and while he can still dial up the speed every now and then, he's not the fireballer he used to be known as. The fastball is still his bread and butter, though. Luis Perdomo will wrap up the series. He was acquired from the Cardinals via the Rockies in December's Rule 5 draft, and has shown a lot of progress since. Still, he really needs more seasoning. He's given up a lot of homers, so don't be surprised if you see some bombs on Wednesday.
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