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In case anybody is still here (I know I haven’t written in a while), please head over to Friarsonbase.com. I am now the editor at Friars on Base which is part of the Fansided network. It is a San Diego Padres site and I will still be writing about the Chihuahuas there. Please stop by!

We have our first clue…

So today the El Paso AAA Team released their first clue toward the identity of our future baseball team. The El Paso 411 Facebook page has this photo up from the team:

The First Clue

The First Clue

Not sure if I told you guys but, I am amazing with Photoshop! So, using my skills I have superimposed the eyes onto all 5 possible mascots. Here they are (Desert Gators, Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas and Sun Dogs):

El Paso Desert Gators?El Paso Aardvark's?El Paso Buckaroos?

El Paso Chihuahuas?El Paso Sun Dogs?

See… told you I was great with Photoshop.:) Rumor here in El Paso has it that it is going to be the El Paso Sun Dogs, which I am fine with. But, I must say, the eyes look great on the Aardvark.

Stay tuned for more updates… and hopefully an update on who we have to look forward to seeing next season!

El Paso Baseball Link Dump

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while everyone. Here are a few links to get everybody up to date on the Stadium and what we may or may not know about the team so far.

English: In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wago...

In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wagons peppered the intersection of Mesa and Mills streets in Downtown El Paso. AND THERE WAS NO GALL-DARNED HIGH FALLUTIN BASKETBALL STADIUM IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN!!!Photo courtesy of El Paso Public Library. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This July 14th article from the El Paso Times doesn’t say too much as far as the construction of the stadium is concerned… pretty much just that it has started. The interesting notes here are that the Pacific Coast League Divisions and Schedule should be out by the end of this month. Also, the team name (Desert Gators – see link at bottom) should be announced by the end of the year. Yay!

 

In this article from the El Paso Times on August 2nd, people are still whining about the fact that the stadium costs money. The new mayor and city council hate the stadium and our future team (my opinion). But, who cares? It’s gonna happen and there’s nothing they can do about it… except complain like all of the people who commented at the bottom. HAHA, City Hall is gone and the stadium is being built regardless!!!! Suck it people who wish it was still 1908 in El Paso!

Here’s some awesome artist’s renderings of our awesome new stadium!

I have no idea what this dude’s note at the bottom about the baseball team means. I also have no idea why he hasn’t taken an updated picture for his column since this one was taken with his Grandma’s Polaroid.

Apparently Hayden Rash at H4TV (What is that?) just found out we are getting a team. I like his stance on the idiocy of people being upset about the demolition of a 32 year old asbestos filled City Hall. However, his assumptions about the seating and the poor parking are a little off. I like the guy’s comment at the end. It wasn’t me. Promise.

No complaints at all about this article at Ballpark Digest. It provides a great preview of the new stadium and gets me even more pumped! The Japanese comments at the end… not so much. But, maybe they’re pumped too! Woohoo!!!

 

The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 5 (The AA Pitchers)

Good morning. I’m doing a little better today. I slept pretty good. I have moved on and accepted that we will have a name I don’t like for our new AAA team. I just keep repeating the mantra, “the name will be dumb, but the games will be fun.” I may have to trademark that before the team steals it from me.  So, now we have made it to the AA players in the Padres organization, current San Antonio Missions. I will begin with the Pitchers.

The Pitchers

1. Matt Andriese (RHP) – Wow. This is a heck of a Pitcher for me to start this post off with. Andriese has started 14 games this season and has a record of 8-1. He has a

San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.99 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP to go along with his 60 K’s and 13 BB’s. His K/9 numbers have dropped this season from his previous two but, it looks like that may be intentional. Andriese is a sinker ball pitcher who pitches to contact. The fact that he does strikeout so many is pretty impressive. His K/BB of 4.62 is the best of his career.

If things keep going the way they’re going, Andriese will be in El Paso next season. His sinker ball pitching should play great here in our high altitude.

2. Jose De Paula (LHP) – De Paula is yet another San Antonio starter putting up good numbers. 3.86 ERA,6.87 K/9 (and just like Andriese his BB/9 has dropped a lot from last season, 2.97 to 1.33).

His WHIP of 1.27 isn’t that bad. His Opp. BA of .278 isn’t that good. If De Paula keeps it up he has a chance of being in AAA next year. The problem is, you are competing with the guys who will be going back and forth between the Majors and AAA. There are less spots available and you may need to stand out more than he does. But, De Paula is on the 40-man roster and that can help you “earn” that spot sometimes.

3. Josh Geer (RHP) – Like I just said about De Paula, roster spots at AAA can be hard to come by. Josh Geer has played in every level of the Padres system, to include the Majors. He has a career 5.28 ERA. He spent most of last year in AA and had decent numbers. He then moved to AAA and struggled. Once again this season, Geer is starting off in AA. His stats: 3-3, 2 SV, 3.40 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 7.87 K/9, 2.98 BB/9. Not great numbers but, he still could end up in Tucson this season.

This is tough to say really. His AA numbers so far this season look pretty good. I guess we will have to see what happens when he gets back to AAA. I’m gonna say it’s 50/50 right now… if he’s still in the Padres organization next year.

4. Jeff Ibarra (LHP) -Ibarra’s numbers up until this season have been pretty good. This season? Nope. He got hammered in 2 innings in AAA. He is back down in AA and currently has a 6.58 ERA.

This is completely unpredictable. Ibarra appears to be a left-handed specialist so, wherever he is needed, he will go. My guess is we won’t be seeing him next year, at least to start out.

5. Matt Jackson (RHP) – Jackson has pitched at three different levels this year. None of them too well.

English: Josh Geer pitching for the San Diego ...

English: Josh Geer pitching for the San Diego Padres during spring training in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wouldn’t plan on seeing Jackson next year. Sorry.

6. Ryan Kelly (RHP) – Kelly is a decent pitcher. He came over from the Rangers organization before the 2012 season. He currently has a 4.41 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

I don’t think we will be seeing him.

7. Matt Lollis (RHP) – Lollis was once in the top 10 prospects (in 2010). His numbers have fallen off a little since then. He appears to be a full-time middle relief pitcher at his point.

We could see him in El Paso next year. You always need middle relievers.

8. Jeremy McBryde (RHP) – McBryde is 1-3 with 2 SV, 2.43 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 11.53 K.9 and 3.03 BB/9. He is a back-end of the bullpen guy and looks to be very good at it. His BB/9 are up this season but, it’s not necessarily that bad. He is striking out a large number of players which has helped him to an LOB of 82.7%.

This guy’s looking good. I don’t see why he wouldn’t be in El Paso next year!

9. Chris Rearick (LHP) – Rearick is another left-handed specialist. This is his first year in the Padres organization and he is equating himself quite well. 2.02 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9.84 K/9, 2.27 BB/9, 77.1% LOB.

It’s hard to tell, when you’re talking about a specialist like this, whether he will be promoted or not. It is entirely dependent on whether he is needed in AAA.

10. Donn Roach (RHP) – Roach is the third starter on this list. His numbers are… not so hot. In 14 games he is 5-6. He has a 4.40 ERA and only 46 K’s in 72 innings. (I hate saying “only” like I could strike out anybody in professional baseball) But, when we’re talking about actual professional baseball players, you have to do better than this to get promoted.

Might be spending another season in San Antonio before coming to El Paso.

11. Keyvius Sampson (RHP) – Sampson is one of the top prospects in the organization. He started the season in AAA and then went back down to AA after a rough start. He has been doing much better at San Antonio. He has a 3.16 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He is still walking way too many batters (4.03 BB/9), which is about what he has done his entire career. He has to find his control to make it in AAA.

Sampson being in AAA next year is pretty much a sure thing. He will probably be back to AAA by the end of the season. I would say he will definitely start next season in El Paso.

12. Matt Stites (RHP) – Stites is another back end of the bullpen guy and he is incredibly good at it. In 35 innings he is 2-2 with 4 saves. His 1.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP lead the team. He strikes out more than 1 batter per inning and has only walked 7 in his 35 innings. The guy is good and has been at all of his minor league stops.

Let’s hope he is the Closer for our El Paso Whatever’s.

13. Matt Wisler (RHP) – Wisler has pitched OK at all of his stops since the Padres picked him in the 7th Round back in 2011. He is not having as much success as some of his fellow starting pitchers, however. His ERA currently stands at 4.19.

Wisler was called up from Hi-A because he was pitching so well. I think he will probably stay in AA for part of next season. We should see him at some point soon, though. He is still figuring everything out but, he will get there.

Team Name Voting Begins!

Plaza de los Lagartos

Plaza de los Lagartos (Photo credit: Eric Enders)

Well, the top 5 names have finally been released for the El Paso (and everywhere else) public to vote on. Here are the nominees, in no particular order… actually, they are in a particular order from stupidest to less stupid.

1. Aardvarks. I don’t know what to say about this. A Google search of El Paso and Aardvark turns up a wrecker service and an auto repair shop, that clearly named themselves that in order to be first in the phone book (if you don’t know what a phone book is… it’s a book with a list of phone numbers to everyones land lines… land lines are phones that you have in your house – actually connected to your house – they don’t have internet – they don’t take pictures). There is a zoo in El Paso so, I guess maybe the name comes from that. I can’t find any information on the internet that leads me to believe they even have an Aardvark.

2. Buckaroos. (No, I’m not making this up) Apparently Buckaroo is how white people started saying Vaquero (Cowboy in Spanish). So, we are using an Anglicanized version of a Spanish word to represent the Cowboys who were mostly Mexican in this area, which by the way is full of Mexican people. But… we didn’t choose Vaqueros (or Estrellas) as a finalist. Nope, we chose Buckaroos!

3. Chihuahuas. OK well… we live in the Chihuahuan desert. We live next to the Mexican state of Chihuahua. There also seems to be an inordinate amount of big ol’ vatos around El Paso with tiny little Chihuahuas. That being said, this name is stupid. What player would be proud to be a Chihuahua?

4. Sun Dogs. This is the second best. Believe it or not. Sun Dogs. El Paso is the Sun City so, that part works. The dogs part? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the whole big dudes with little dogs thing I was talking about. I just don’t get it. I waited so long for these names to come out… not just because I was hoping that Estrellas would be there but because it’s OUR team! I can’t be happy about the Sun Dogs. It doesn’t even make sense.

5. Desert Gators. This is the one I just voted for and will vote for everyday from now until the 27th when voting ends. This is the best of the worst. It is also the only one that makes sense in reference to El Paso. We live in the Desert, we’ve already established that. Now, you may be asking yourself “why the gators?”. Well, I will tell you.

In San Jacinto Plaza in the heart of downtown El Paso, only a few blocks from the new stadium, there is a statue of “Los Lagartos” by Luis Jimenez. The statue is there in honor of the Alligators who used to reside in a moat within the plaza. For almost 100 years Alligators lived in San Jacinto Plaza until 1974 when they had to be moved to the El Paso Zoo due to a rise in vandalism (or maybe to eat the Aardvarks, CAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY THERE!). So, needless to say, the Gators are a source of pride and fond memories for many El Pasoans. The desert is a source of something for El Pasoans. Mostly sand and heat but, it can be beautiful as well.

Here is the link to the voting. There are no write-ins allowed, sorry. I would love to get Estrellas back in there, or maybe the Mountain Stars, Mountain Rainbows, Mountain Dew… whatever. Almost anything would be better than 4 out of these 5 finalists.

http://www.elpasotriplea.com/vote

 

 

The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 4 (The AAA Hitters)

Finally. The start of the players that, in my opinion, we have the best chance of seeing next season in El Paso. I might not go over every player in the Padres system but, I think for AAA and AA, I should. So, here we go. The Tucson Padres/El Paso Whatevers hitters.

1. John Baker (C) – .231/.375/.231 so far at Tucson, and his Major League stats this season are even worse. Currently on a one-year contract.

He won’t be here next year. Sorry. But, he could be managing here in a few years.- (This is what I get for taking two days to write my post. Baker was released yesterday. Guess I was right about not seeing him here next year, huh? BOOM!)

2. Jason Hagerty (C) – Hagerty is a back-up Catcher. Looks like he always has been. He’s a switch hitter, which you always love in a Catcher but, he hasn’t been hitting…

Tucson Padres

Tucson Padres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

which is half of switch-hitting. .160/.323./.160.

If he’s still with the Padres next year, I think he will be in San Antonio. Unless, the Padres REALLY can’t find a back-up for El Paso.

3. Rene Rivera (C) – Rivera is in beast-mode this season. He is currently second in the PCL in batting. .343/.391/.488, 4 HR, 27 RBI. He is clearly the best Catcher on the Tucson roster. Dare I say, the best hitting Catcher in the Padres organization this year. Granted, his career numbers are nowhere close to what he’s doing this season. But, with Rivera batting so much better than either Hundley or Grandal with the Padres, does he deserve to be called up? Honestly, it may not matter if he deserves it or not. A clause in his contract means that he will have to be released if he is not on the Padres 25-man roster by June 15th. Could Hundley or Grandal be on their way down?

I hate to say it but, I think the Padres may be content with Grandal and Hundley. They definitely believe that Grandal is the Catcher of the future. They probably don’t want to send him down. Perhaps Hundley goes down. Perhaps they carry three Catchers? This is a stumper but, I’m about 80% sure that Rivera will be released, as crazy as it might sound.

4. Brandon Allen (1B) – If you like strikeouts, Brandon Allen is your man! This season he is kinda turning it around it would appear. He is only striking out 18% of the time, which is way better than usual. .260/.361/.439 is a decent slash. But, at 6’2″ and 235 lb. I think you should be hitting a little more than 6 HR’s so far. That’s very easy for someone who had 3 hits in 4 years of High School baseball to say, huh? I don’t care, it’s my blog, dang it!

He is on a minor league deal. I think he’s gonna be in Tucson all year. He’s hit that point in his career where he is playing on one year deals for any AAA team that needs him. I’d say 50% chance he could be with the El Paso Whatever’s.

5. Dean Anna (2B) – Well, well, well… Mr. Anna. What can I say. This dude has come out of nowhere this season! He has had a pretty good slash line everywhere he’s been so, I wouldn’t say it’s a complete surprise but, his numbers this year are amazing. .335/.411/.537 with 8 HR, 33 RBI and 41 R. That’s what I call a breakout. But, like the link at the bottom of this post explains, Anna is stuck in the minors.

Depending on what happens with the bench players in San Diego this offseason, I’d say there’s a 50% chance of Anna being in El Paso next season. He is very versatile and

Jonathan Galvez - San Antonio Missions

Jonathan Galvez – San Antonio Missions – Crazy time lapse picture, perhaps of a strikeout? (Photo credit: Jesse Acosta)

could easily stick as a do it all bench guy.

6. Cody Decker (1B) – Not that great of a hitter. Doesn’t appear to be a top prospect. Has a .521 SLG% which is not so bad. His .264 AVG and only 5 HR is only so-so.

If he’s in the organization still, which he should be… he will be in El Paso next season.

7. Jonathan Galvez (2B) – This guy has rocketed through the system since coming from the Dominican as a 17-year-old in 2008. Now 22, Galvez is sporting a .287/.353/.413 line with 36 R and 12 SB. He is striking out about 23% of the time and has done that at every stop in the minors. He still looks like a very solid prospect.

With Gyorko, Forsythe, and Cabrera with the Padres, it looks like we will be seeing Galvez in El Paso next season as well. Perhaps with extra time in AAA, he can cut down on his strikeouts. He is only 22. He has time.

8. Jesus Merchan (3B) – Jesus is a AAA bench player. He has found his niche in life. I’m sure he is a very nice man.

If Jesus feels like coming to El Paso, the Padres will probably take him on for a third year as a bench player.

9. Gregorio Petit (SS) – Despite a .302/.347/.392 slash so far this season, Petit looks like he has also found his niche. It is not in the majors.

Petit has changed AAA teams for three years in a row. I guess there’s a chance with El Paso being a new team that he may not realize he’s played for the Padres before and come on down to the borderland. We shall see.

10. Travis Buck (OF) – OK, look at Buck’s stats here and tell me he shouldn’t be nicknamed “Mister Inconsistency”. This guy is all over the place. Ohh, maybe it should be “Bipolar Man”. Not gonna play for the Padres this year… or next year.

He’s at the Minor League Deal part of his career. Could be in El Paso next year. Probably not, though. Although I would like to have a “Bipolar Man” jersey made up!

11. James Darnell (OF) – Darnell is the first person on this list who is actually on the 40-man roster. It would appear that Darnell was added to the 40-man in order to avoid the Rule 5 draft this past year. Why you may ask? I don’t know. I guess cause he hits really well in the low minors. He is on the DL right now but in his 7 games this year he has a .235/.316/.471. I guess he will be a September call-up, assuming he gets healthy.

If the Padres don’t try to pass him through waivers and lose him, he could be in El Paso. Looks like he will definitely need another season there.

English: James Darnell in 2010 spring training.

“Hello 40-man roster!” James Darnell  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

12. Jaff Decker (OF) – Man, I don’t even know what to say about Decker. He is also on the 40-man roster and it looks like it probably for the same reason that Darnell is. He was going to be Rule 5 eligible and no team wants to lose a 1st Round Pick. That’s kind of like admitting you were wrong and what guy wants to do that?.240/.363/.391 so far this season really isn’t too far removed from his usual numbers.

My guess is he will have one more season in AAA before the Padres give it up and admit they were wrong.

13. Dan Robertson (OF) – Robertson (.319/.398/.432), a 33rd round pick in 2008 has steadily worked his way up through the minors, hitting at every level. Not only does he hit, he walks and strikes out at the same 10% rate while also stealing about 20 bases a year. It looks like he will be eligible for the Rule-5 Draft this offseason. Here’s to hoping the Padres don’t just add guys to the 40-man roster that can’t hit.

He will probably be in El Paso next year. I can’t wait to see him play.

14. Kalian Sams (OF) – The Padres signed Sams after a decent WBC performance this year for the Netherlands. He was in the Mariners system for a while and never really produced much, always staying in the .250 BA range. Sams was recently promoted to AAA after working up to a .250/412/.713 line. His 10 Home Runs contributed greatly to that slugging percentage.

We should see Sams here hitting home runs next year. I’m predicting a homer on Opening Day, you can go ahead and mark it down! BOOM!

15. Mike Wilson (OF) – This guy is pretty inconsistent also. His numbers are all over the place, except one… he strikeouts out at a very consistent rate. So far this year, that rate is at 30%. Nowadays in baseball,  power can cover up a low batting average and high strikeout rate in the eyes of the people that matter. But, Wilson’s 2 home run’s aren’t covering up much. His .291 average might.

Because this is his first year with the Padres and only his second with a team other than the one that drafted him, I would say he is likely to be here in El Paso next year. The high altitude should help his Home Run numbers come back up to where they have been in the past.

Well, that’s it for the Tucson Padres hitters. I hate to say it but, there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to. Galvez will be nice to see. So will Robertson and maybe Anna. The prospect lists I have read don’t seem to reflect what the stats are showing so far this season. Perhaps by the end of this season, all of these stats will get to where all of the pundits thought they would be. Perhaps I will re-do all of these posts at the end of the season. We will see.

New Twitter Account

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I started a new Twitter account just for the blog. It is @ninosofpadres. Please switch over to it. At some point, maybe in a week or so, I’m going to start using it exclusively for anything related to the blog. Thanks! See you there!