Good morning, Padres fans. Our Friars played another intra-squad game last night, letting most of the kids get some run. RHP Cal Quantrill and LHP MacKenzie Gore took the mound last night for the Gold and Brown squads, and we got to see 2020 first-round pick Robert Hassell III take his first at-bats during Summer Camp. However, all that is mostly overshadowed by the news that the Padres traded OF Franchy Cordero and RHP Ronald Bolanos to the Royals for LHP Tim Hill (hence the light intrasquad observations). I’ve linked to some additional analysis on the trade below, but for now, let’s get to the notes and observations from last night’s scrimmage. These observations are all mine, so I may have gotten a few things wrong; feel free to correct me.
- Quantrill proved to be the workhorse last night, going four innings while facing off against a lineup comprised of some of the Padres’ top prospects. Gore, meanwhile, only threw two innings, but flashed an improved change-up (it looked improved to me, at least). He cruised through his first inning of work, K-ing OF Tommy Pham before running into a bit of trouble in the 2nd. Also, I think it was Mark “Mudcat” Grant who mentioned that Gore might be tipping his curveball by slowing his arm action, hence why that pitch has not been quite as effective so far (anyone else hear that, or am I repeating Twitter rumors?)
- As mentioned above, OF Robert Hassell III finally got a chance to take some swings in the scrimmage. Hassell displayed a quick swing in his two ABs, fouling off a few pitches before singling late in the scrimmage.
- Perhaps sensing the moment, OF Edward Olivares took LHP Drew Pomeranz deep shortly after the Padres announced the Cordero trade. Several Padres beat writers explicitly mentioned Olivares’ play as a big reason why the Padres traded Cordero away, as the team apparently feels they have better long-term OF options than Cordero.
- OF Josh Naylor also displayed excellent hustle throughout, scoring a run on a squeeze play after reaching base by singling late in the scrimmage. Might need to work on his throwing arm, though; Naylor allowed a run to score when his throw from LF went wildly off the mark.
Let’s check out some of the other news and notes from around the web:
- Padres GM AJ Preller talked about trading Cordero for Tim Hill last night with the SD-UT’s Kevin Acee. “It was difficult dealing Franchy for a lot of reasons,” Preller said. “He came up through the Padres organization. He’s an A-plus person. … Having those conversations is never easy. With the Castillo injury, from our standpoint, just adding another quality reliever, especially from the left side, that can complement the guys we currently have,” Preller added. “It’s somebody we’ve had our eyes on, and ultimately it lined up for us. We feel like he’s going to be a guy that can get both lefties and righties out. But I think with the rules being what they are, we’ll make sure we use him in the right spots and in the right way.” With the acquisition of Hill, the Padres now have 15 relievers on their roster with major league experience. Among those relievers is LHP Matt Strahm, who counts Hill as his closest friend in the game.
- Another reason the Padres may have dealt Cordero? The team’s new emphasis on getting on-base. The Padres, who haven’t been to the postseason since 2006, were last in MLB in OBP every year from 2014 through 2018 and finished 26th out of 30 teams last season (hey, progress!). Despite Cordero’s prodigious power (he carries a .925 OPS in 517 AAA at-bats), he has also recorded a frightening 38.8% K-rate in his 246 MLB at-bats. “It’s a lot of getting on base,” C Austin Hedges said. “Ting (Manager Jayce Tingler) has made that pretty clear. He’s like, ‘Hey, if you want to play on this team you’ve got to get on base.’ ”
- Jeff Sanders of the SD-UT also provides a profile of newly-acquired LHP Tim Hill. The 30-year-old Hill, a Mission Hills native, was the Royals’ 32nd-RD pick in 2014 who then overcame colon cancer in 2015. Hill, a side-arming/submarine-style LHP, throws a four-seamer and sinker, both of which sit at 90-91 MPH in 2019. He also has a high-70s slider and a mid-80s change-up, which he seldom used. The sinker was his go-to pitch in 2019 as he threw it 44.8% of the time, according to brooksbaseball.net. He threw his four-seamer 30.19% of the time, and his slider accounted for almost a quarter of his pitches. Hill also posted allowed a .186/.262/.203 slash against lefties last season, while righties hung a .755 OPS (Hill will potentially have to stare down LA’s Muncy-Betts-Bellinger in a big spot, and I’m going to be white-knuckling it the entire time).
- RHP Trey Wingenter is seeking a 2nd opinion on his ailing pitching elbow, manager Jayce Tingler said. The team previously shut down Wingenter last week because of inflammation in his elbow. The 26-year old was among the Padres’ most-utilized relievers in 2019, throwing 51 innings. Wingenter only managed a 5.65 ERA, and he walked 4.94 batters per nine, but he also put up a 12.71 K/9, posted a 3.61 FIP and averaged 96 mph on his fastball.
That’s it for today. As always, if I missed anything, fire away in the comments. Go Padres!