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A weblog covering the San Diego Padres.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Rock Bottom

Padres lose 3-0 today. Yup.

As usual Ducksnorts has me beat. I'll just quote him:

- don't understand why the Padres always have to carry one useless position player on the roster and let him waste at-bats better given to more productive players. And we can't even blame this one on the Rule V draft.

On the pitching side, roster management is just as baffling. Ricky Stone, who was doing nothing with the Astros, is picked up off waivers and added to the big-league staff. Brian Sweeney is hanging around but still hasn't made his Padre debut. Rod Beck, great story that he was last year, has nothing left. And the guy who gets sent down to make room for Ramon Vazquez is Dennis Tankersley, who has been nothing less than terrific since moving into the rotation? What the heck is going on here?


I cannot believe we sent Tankersley down.

You know how people think of Kevin Towers as a savant of sorts? He is, a lot of the time. But sometimes he just goes off the deep end. I thought so for much of last year. But he's also someone who can catch lightning in a bottle and get things going. Frustrating, but in general I have a very high opinion of the guy.

But days and times like these make little sense. Geoff touches a lot of it above. I'm beginning to think that part of baseball and pro sports is this human side of business. Well, actually, that's a no duh. Put it this way, sometimes the people in charge will make very stupid decisions on marginal stuff because it's a nice thing to do.

Maybe Ramon Vazquez is a heck of a guy, a clubhouse person, and Towers would feel disloyal and inhuman by keeping him in the minors past rehab. So he shuttles down one of the kids who isn't as well known and is just getting started and would not feel too bad at being shipped down. Someone like Tankersley.

I don't know.

What I do know is that it's back to .500 for the Padres. If there's one very good blessing this year it has been the pitching, and since I'm sounding so negative lately let's give strong praise now to that positive. It's fun looking at some of the ERA's right now.

1.10 Otsuka
1.80 Neal
2.01 Peavy
2.34 Witasick
2.35 Hoffman
2.54 Linebrink
3.06 Wells
3.20 Tankersley
3.95 Lawrence
4.12 Osuna

Awesome.

You cannot ask for much better. On paper if you cover the ERA's I don't think a lot of GMs would bother assembling that for a pitching roster. But it's working.

* * * * *
Alright, time to present the research on the Padres' #6 draft selection in our ongoing Draft Review series.

Richard Steik
RHP-Golden West College (Junior)
6'3"/210
L/R



MLB.com has some video of him and this short writeup:

TALL, LARGE FRAME. BROAD BACK, SHOULDERS. SOFT THROUGH MIDDLE. STRONG, STURDY LEGS. LONG, LOOSE MUSCLES. LOST 15 LBS. NO WINDUP, 3/4 ARM. HIGH LEG LIFT. LOOSE, EASY ARM ACTION W/ OCCAISIONAL ML FB, TAILING, SINKING MOVEMENT. GOOD MOTION ON SINKING CHANGEUP. EFFECTIVE CB WHEN STAYS ON TOP & PITCH IS DOWN IN ZONE. THROW K'S W/ ALL PITCHES. CHANCE TO BE EFFECTIVE SINKER BALL PITCHER.

Like Rob Neyer, I find most of those writeups to be gibberish and can't distinguish anything from them. But there it is just in case you're curious.

At BaseballThinkFactory, a thread about Neyer's Column complaining about the above writeups has mention of Steik. This from user aaronkc7:

-Ricky Steik, below, struck out Scott Moore, 1st round pick of the Tigers in 2002, on nasty pitches in a huge situation that led to the Kennedy Fighting Irish (Alan Bannister) defeating the Cypress Centurions (Troy O'leary) to make the play-offs.

That's right, Ricky. Initially I found very little on young Mr. Steik, but then I came across Golden West College's athletics site and they were listing him as Ricky. I re-did my google search and sure enough, there was more on him after trying Ricky instead of Richard. Go figure.

Steik came to Golden West college out of John F. Kennedy HS in Buena Park. The mets originally drafted him in the 27th round of the 2002 Amateur Draft. He went the college route and is now the property of the Padres for a little under a year, having been selected in the 7th round as the #192 overall selection. So, to recap, he went from the #807 selection to the #192. Tremendous improvement, at least in draft standing.

Here's why:

13G/13Starts/1CG
2.93 ERA
.227 BAA
12-0 Record
89.0 IP
80 H
34 R/29 ER
80 K/34 BB
5 HR
4 Sac
6 HB
2 Bk
0 WP

What did that earn him? Why, Pitcher Of The Year honors in the All-Orange Empire Conference. For his career, he is tied for 7th in all time victories in the conference with 11. Why is that notable? Because ML-er Steve Trachsel is tied for 10th with 10 wins. Solid company if you ignore all the other no-names on the list.

He also made preseason All-OEC honors.

Our last item on Mr. Steik is this clipping from the Los Angeles Times preps section, about one of his good outings back in the day:

-La Palma Kennedy 9, Katella 0
Rick Steik pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to get the win and also had three hits and two RBIs for visiting Kennedy (5-3, 2-0). Katella is now 6-3, 1-1.


So it sounds like Richard, or Ricky, Steik, is a good find out of the California junior college circuit. He has pretty good control, keeps the hits down, can strike guys out, and has succeeded in spots in one of the toughest prep baseball regions in the country. Winning Pitcher of the Year honors is also a very nice accomplishment and may be signs of better things to come.

* * * * *
One quick link I just found, because I like links.

Lions Baseball Tournament list of Major Leaguers who have participated. It's a who's who of San Diego prep baseballers. Eric Anthony, Mark Prior, Phil Plantier, interesting names both big and small.

* * * * *
I've gotten tired and lazy, so Mark Prior will have to wait at least one more day.

* * * * *
Tomorrow's Game:
Padres vs. Diamondbacks
Casey Fossum (1-5, 6.62 ERA) against "Izzy" Valdez (5-3, 4.85)
7:05 PM PST, Channel 4

Another sieve of a pitcher, which means the Padres are likely to once again be shut out or something close to it. I was about to rant again, but I'll save it. Just know that pitchers 70 games into the season with 6+ ERA's are roadkill. They shouldn't look like Cy Young out there.

Beat the Diamondbacks!



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