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Monday, October 04, 2021

Inside the Padres’ collapse: Manager, GM under scrutiny after club crumbles down the stretch

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On Oct. 24, 2019, Preller hired a manager even more obscure than Green. Tingler had never played above Double A. Aside from a stint in the Dominican Winter League, he had never managed above rookie ball. On the day he was introduced to the media, Preller pushed back against the idea that Tingler would operate as a mere extension of the front office. Yet multiple people with the team anticipated there would be less pushback than there was with Green.

“He (hired) someone he feels like he can tell what to do,” one employee said.

Now, almost two years later, Tingler has come under siege. Many of his own players have second-guessed his leadership and decision-making. In an interview this week with MLB Network radio, Tingler said: “I could have done a better job with handling confrontation and tough questions.”

Tingler was involved in assembling his coaching staff but only in a limited way, people with knowledge of the process said. The front office surrounded him with what was seen as necessary experience, including Rothschild and three coaches familiar with Machado — Bobby Dickerson, Wayne Kirby and Ryan Flaherty. Tingler had worked only with Kirby, a decade earlier in the Rangers’ system. Tingler’s closest confidante, longtime friend Brad Flanders, was hired as a bullpen catcher before this season, Tingler’s second year.

The combination of an untested manager, veteran coaches with strong personalities and prominent players with strong personalities has sometimes proven volatile. A pair of confrontations in the dugout two weeks ago — first between Dickerson and Tatis, then between Tatis and Machado — attracted national attention, but according to sources, there have been an unusual number of heated moments this season, including when the Padres were well above .500. Some of the same sources have questioned whether front-office executives have enough empathy for those navigating complex situations inside the clubhouse.

“I don’t think (Preller) feels that at all,” said one former coach.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:06 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: padres

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   1. Rally Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:48 AM (#6043480)
Tingler’s closest confidante, longtime friend Brad Flanders, was hired as a bullpen catcher before this season, Tingler’s second year.


D’oh! Stupid Flanders…
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6043493)
Given the issues managers already have managing player who make 10 times what they do, and are far more important to the organization, I don't know how a guy with no real playing career, and no real managerial resume has any chance at all. If the front office is going to do all the thinking anyway, I'd go with a former big leaguer, who was at least a minor star.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6043502)
I'd go with a former big leaguer, who was at least a minor star.
What counts as a minor star? Kevin Cash certainly was not one. Craig Counsell was famous, but not a star as a player. Brian Snitker never played in the majors; neither did Mike Shildt (though Cardinals fans might not consider him a success). Charlie Montoyo had 5 career PAs.
   4. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6043521)
Fair rebuttal. Tingler had barely managed, though; his credentials were "front office - MLB coach". Cash and Counsell had long (if not good) MLB careers, while Shildt, Snitker, and Montoyo all managed several hundred minor league games with distinction.
   5. Tyhand7 Posted: October 04, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6043528)
Can we blame the GM? According to Fangraphs the Padres were average on offense, average pitching and near the bottom defensively - sounds like a 79 win team to me... Also, Hosmer stunk, Profar had too many PA's and the combined catching was nothing
   6. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6043534)
The thing about the Tingler hire is that the Padres built this Ferrari team then got someone who just got his license to drive it. Tingler may be a perfectly good manager at some point but it just seemed like an odd hire.
   7. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6043538)
Echoing no. 6. The SD seem to be in a win now mode, you'd think they'd bring in someone with experience instead of experimenting which is something you do when you're in more of a rebuild or just not sure what you're in.
   8. Rally Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6043540)
Can we blame the GM? According to Fangraphs the Padres were average on offense, average pitching and near the bottom defensively - sounds like a 79 win team to me... Also, Hosmer stunk, Profar had too many PA's and the combined catching was nothing


Of course you can, the GM is the one responsible for putting this team on the field. The GM signed Hosmer and Profar. The GM traded away a catcher (Mejia) who was a league average hitter last year. They got Snell back in the deal, but he wasn’t very good and the Padres would probably have been better off giving his starts to Patino. Not to mention Snell makes more money than the 4 guys he was traded for combined, and TB got 2 more prospects in the deal.
   9. Ron J Posted: October 04, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6043552)
#8 Blaming him for making the trade for Snell (which so far has worked pretty badly) is kind of like blaming him for trading for Mike Clevinger. Clevinger gave them even less.

But here's the thing. Given them reasonable expectations of a healthy Snell, Clevinger and Lamet and ... well they're probably facing Max Scherzer in a one game play-in where they are most definitely not the favorites.

107 wins is a pretty freaking tough target if you're not playing OOTP.
   10. John Northey Posted: October 04, 2021 at 04:29 PM (#6043567)
Want to know what killed the Padres? Just a quick glance at their BR page says a LOT. 4 of the 5 guys who had 10+ starts are on the IL at the end of the season. Ugh. Those 4 all had sub 100 ERA+'s too. Snell has a 120 ERA+ lifetime, but a 92 this season. Darvish also a lifetime 120 but just 92 this year. Weird coincidence. Paddack had a 126 2 years ago but dropped to 89 last year and 77 this despite his FIP being better this year than in 2019. The pitching killed them.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6043576)
Yep, they had a 3.79 RA/G in the first half and 5.14 in the second half. The offense was worse after the break, too, but the pitching was the main reason for the decline. The ERA disparity was even bigger, but they allowed fewer UER in the second half.
   12. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6043580)
Hosmer stunk


I think it would be fairer to say that Hosmer stinks. He was decent in limited time in a limited season last year, but other than that he's been dogshit since the day he showed up in San Diego.
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6043581)
(Which was predictable.)
   14. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6043583)
Yep, they had a 3.79 RA/G in the first half and 5.14 in the second half. The offense was worse after the break, too, but the pitching was the main reason for the decline. The ERA disparity was even bigger, but they allowed fewer UER in the second half.
There are two problems with the Padres:
1) a team with low 90s win talent set expectations for 100+ wins
2) they didn’t come close to hitting their true talent level

There is no reason to keep Tingler around because he failed and part of the job is getting fired when the team dramatically underperforms, but Preller bought high on a bunch of guys and expectations were set unreasonably high.

   15. Walt Davis Posted: October 04, 2021 at 06:54 PM (#6043592)
They also had the "bad luck" of a very tough schedule down the stretch. In Sept-Oct, 6 against the Dodgers, 10 against the Giants, 3 each against Hou, Atl, StL. Now obviously that doesn't excuse the 7-21 record and it also means they'd had a relatively easy schedule through Aug ... and if you can't beat playoff teams, hard to make a claim you belong in the playoffs.

0-6 vs LAD
4-6 vs SFG
0-3 vs Atl
0-3 vs StL
2-1 vs Hou

While having the rotation banged up down the stretch hurt but you can't really put much blame there. They got 110 starts out of their top 4 which is about all you can expect -- obviously you hope for more but that's just how pitching works. Or you could add Lemet limited to just 9 starts ... but most teams end up needing about 40-45 starts from guys outside their intended rotation.

Padres GS:
Musgrove 31
Darvish 30
Snell 27
Paddack 22

Dodgers:
Buehler 33
Urias 32
Kershaw 22
Bauer 17
Gonsolin 13
Scherzer 11
Price 11 (I'd missed him in the rotation)
12 other guys 23

So even if we include the Scherzer/Bauer combo as part of the top 4, that's 115 starts for the Dodgers vs 110 for the Padres. Obviously having Gonsolin and Price to begin with and being able to bring in Scherzer is a lot better than a 21-yo Ryan Weathers and desperately hoping Arrieta and Velazquez have something left (they very much did not)

The Giants were a good bit luckier:

Gausman 33
DeSclafini 31
Webb 26 (this kid looks good)
Wood 26
Cueto 21

And they were lucky enough to get 7 good starts out of Aaron Sanchez but even they got desprate enough to give Kazmir 4 starts. Still in all, that's 116 starts out of their top 4, Cueto being a pretty good #5.

Obviously getting another 5-10 solid starts would have done the Padres some real good but, in the end, they were 11 back of the Cards so that wouldn't have been enough to get them into the playoffs.

The State of Starting 2021:

30-33: 41 pitchers, median 116 ERA+, 9 with ERA+ <= 94
25-29: 37 pitchers, median 104, 13 <= 94
20-24: 41 pitchers, median 100, 14 <= 94 (many well below incl Velasquez and Arrieta)
10-19: 71 pitchers, median 92

Conveniently the first 3 add up to 119 pitchers, 4 per team, so that's about what you can expect to have at season's end. And of course frequently the guy you hoped would be your #5 is one of the guys who ends up in your top 4 (in # of starts at least). Padres' starter's mix of health and non-suckitude was about average.

There's a lot of variety in that last group of course because it's got a lot of those top pitchers who missed half the season -- deGrom, Bauer, Flaherty, Glasnow, Bieber.
   16. Posada Posse Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:01 PM (#6043603)
Sort of related and may be of some interest, Padres reportedly losing senior analyst Dave Cameron.
   17. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:16 PM (#6043605)
Having to face good teams in your division down the stretch isn't bad luck, it's just scheduling. You always face your own division down the stretch, and if you're facing the good teams in your division, you have to beat them. That's just how it goes. The Padres went a combined 15-23 against the two best teams in the NL.

The Padres' scheduling issue wasn't with the Dodgers and Giants, they were with the Diamondbacks and Rockies. The Giants went a hilarious 32-6 against those two teams, and the Dodgers went 29-9. The Padres went 19-19. If they had gone, say, 26-13 against those two garbage teams, that's an 86-win season, the most by the franchise since 2010*, and maybe Tingler doesn't get fired.

*Last year doesn't count towards that.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:21 PM (#6043608)
[16] bad link
   19. Posada Posse Posted: October 04, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6043609)
Errant link above on Dave Cameron story, here’s the link: https://www.eastvillagetimes.com/padres-reportedly-losing-senior-analyst-dave-cameron/
   20. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:20 PM (#6043616)
The Cameron story is very strange. The phrasing of "losing" rather than "firing" or "not renewing the contract of" is bizarre. The whole vibe and voice of the thing is pretty amateur. Here is the real story:

https://theathletic.com/2865723/2021/10/03/with-manager-change-expected-padres-enter-the-offseason-on-shaky-ground/
   21. Walt Davis Posted: October 04, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6043622)
Having to face good teams in your division down the stretch isn't bad luck, it's just scheduling.

which is why "bad luck" was in quotes and why I specifically mentioned this meant they had an easier schedule to that point. It was bad luck that most of their rotation was on the IL when they hit the toughest part of the schedule but sure, even that just meant they had better pitching available against weaker teams earlier.

if you're facing the good teams in your division, you have to beat them

Which I thought I covered in rather excruciating detail even for me. :-)

You always face your own division down the stretch

Not particularly anymore thanks to 5 teams per division and 15 per league. I think they do it "as much as possible" but, for example, only 18 of the Dodgers' last 31 were in-division. For Milw, just 13 of their last 31 (10 of the 13 against StL). For Tampa, 16 of 32. But sure, for other teams it can work out quite heavily in-division.
   22. Rally Posted: October 05, 2021 at 08:06 AM (#6043642)
#8 Blaming him for making the trade for Snell (which so far has worked pretty badly) is kind of like blaming him for trading for Mike Clevinger. Clevinger gave them even less.


I thought Clevinger was kind of a known risk when the trade was made. I could be misremembering. Snell was a predictably terrible trade. It just fits the template of the many successful Tampa Bay trades. They trade away the biggest name and not only get cheaper players, some of the unknown players are high upside enough to out-produce the star they gave up. It’s not Chris Archer level bad, but a good piece of advice to any GM is try not to be on this side of such a deal with TB.
   23. Ron J Posted: October 05, 2021 at 08:46 AM (#6043649)
#22 The risks I saw with Snell were that he'd be used more conventionally and not stand up to it in one way or another. Basically losing the strike zone for most of the season (he actually pitched pretty well the last two months) is something I don't think you could anticipate.

Yes, he had poor control when he came up but he'd stabilized at a 3.3 BB/9 and then spent much of the season with a walk rate of the pitcher he started out as. That's not the way established pitchers in their prime tend to fail.

Yeah, pitchers. And yes, if the Rays want to trade with you it is something of a red flag. But I thought this was more along the lines of a money saving deal (yeah, not really expensive, but the Rays do try to move anybody not pulling their weight)
   24. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 05, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6043660)
Maybe hire Girardi. See if there's something to that Philly-to-West-Coast pipeline.

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