Tag:Mat Latos
Posted on: September 18, 2010 1:55 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:58 am

Latos struggling down the stretch

Mat Latos The Padres' 22-year old ace Mat Latos has thrown 45 more innings in 2010 than he did a year ago, but following his second consecutive bad outing, Latos dismissed fatigue as the reason he was rocked by the Cardinals.

"Fatigue is not a factor," Latos told the San Diego Union-Tribune 's Bill Center. "My body feels good. My arm is fine."

He wasn't -- as Latos lasted just four outs, allowing nine hits and eight runs, walking two and striking out one. The 15 batters he faced went 9 for 13 against him and he threw 51 pitches before being lifted.

While Latos said he felt fine and manager Bud Black said he didn't think velocity was an issue, catcher Yorvit Torrealba said Latos didn't have his usual zip.

"Obviously, he wasn't the Mat we know," Torrealba said. "I saw a couple 89 and 90 fastballs. His velocity wasn't there. And he was up, not executing his pitched. And I noticed, too, that they were attacking early in the count. That is something we should consider, although if Mat is making his pitches like he has been, that 95 fastball down and away, we have a lot of one-pitch outs."

The Padres had said during spring training that they wanted to limit Latos to 150-170 innings. With Friday's outing, Latos has now thrown 168 innings and he's scheduled to make his next start, Thursday night in Los Angeles.

If he doesn't improve upon his last two outings (five runs on seven hits in four innings last Sunday against the Giants), the Padres may not have to worry about monitoring Latos' innings in October, because there won't be any.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 12, 2010 5:04 pm

Latos' record streak ends

Mat Latos
The streak is over for Padres right-hander Mat Latos.

Entering today's huge start against the Giants, Latos had gone a major-league record 15 consecutive starts pitching five or more innings with two or fewer runs allowed. He gave up two-run homer to Buster Posey in the first inning, then gave up a third run on a sacrifice fly in the third.

During his amazing run, Latos, a 22-year-old in his second season, went 9-1 with a 1.49 ERA. He entered today's game leading the National League in ERA at 2.21.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 2, 2010 3:30 pm

Looking at the NL Cy Young race

Cy Young Today we continue our look at the leaders for baseball's big awards as we head into the last month of the season.

In what has been dubbed "The Year of the Pitcher," the Cy Young Awards are going to be tough calls, and in the National League the top six in ERA are separated by just 0.09 points from Tim Hudson (2.24) to Jaime Garcia (2.33).

In addition to the traditional stats, Evan loves him some xFIP. The basic idea of xFIP is -- besides being fun to say aloud -- Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) that's normalizes home run rants for ballparks. Basically, it's all about strikeouts and walks. I'm not as big of a fan of it, but since it was included with the American League folks , I'll list it here for consistency's sake.

(Why don't I like it as much? Because it's too dependent on strikeouts, devaluing pitchers who get other kinds of outs. Funny, I don't care how you get outs, just so you get 'em. I understand if you're looking for a free agent to sign, it's a better predictor of where to spend your money and future performance, but when you're talking about evaluating a performance that has already happened, I don't care about style points.)

While the W-L stat is, in most opinions rightfully losing its place among the most important stats, another maligned statistic is the save. Heath Bell and Billy Wagner are having good seasons as closers, but it takes a special season for a reliever to have a chance. And this is a special season -- for starters. Nice seasons for Bell and Wagner, but they won't be in the discussion this year.

So here's those in the discussion (in alphabetical order):

Chris Carpenter Chris Carpenter
St. Louis Cardinals
14-5, 197 1/3 IP , 147 K, 54 BB, 2.92 ERA, 3.85 xFIP

Last year's runner-up is having another good season. His ERA is up and he already has one more loss than he did last season, but he's not exactly been a slouch. Last year Carpenter and Adam Wainwright split the vote, that shouldn't happen this year.

Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia
St. Louis Cardinals
12-6, 146 2/3 IP, 118 K, 58 BB, 2.33 ERA, 3.75 xFIP

That said, Garcia is the third Cardinal ace this year. The left-hander should be front-runner for the Rookie of the Year Award, but his 2.33 ERA puts him in consideration for the Cy Young, too.

Roy Hallady Roy Halladay
Philadelphia Phillies
16-10, 214 IP, 190 K, 26 BB, 2.27 ERA, 2.91 xFIP

Wait, the American League's best pitcher goes to the National League and dominates? Yeah, not that much of a shocker there. He hasn't exactly turned into the 30-game winner that some predicted, but he's on pace to become just the third pitcher in the live-ball era to lead his league in strikeouts, while having the fewest walks per nine innings in that same season. The last to do so was Robin Roberts in 1954.

Tim Hudson Tim Hudson
Atlanta Braves
15-5, 184 2/3 IP, 109 K, 58 BB, 2.24 ERA, 3.86 xFIP

Like Garcia, Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008 and has certainly rewarded the Braves for the the three-year, $28 million extension given to him this past offseason.

Ubaldo Jimenez Ubaldo Jimenez
Colorado Rockies
17-6, 184 1/3 IP, 170 K, 72 BB, 2.69 ERA, 3.74 xFIP

It looked like Jimenez would run away with the award earlier this season, but he's had a rough June and July (5.16 ERA). It seems crazy talk to think of a pitcher winning a Cy Young pitching half his games in Coors Field. At Coors, he's 8-1 with a 3.16 ERA. On the road, his win total has been hampered by his team's inability to hit on the road. He's 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA not he road, where opponents are hitting just .180/.279/.264.

Josh Johnson Josh Johnson
Florida Marlins
11-5, 177 2/3 IP, 174 K, 45 BB, 2.28 ERA, 3.23 xFIP

Johnson's allowed just seven home runs this season and is striking out nearly four batters for every batter faced. Take out his bad outing in Cincinnati last month and his ERA would be at 2.02.

Mat Latos Mat Latos
San Diego Padres
13-5, 155 2/3 IP, 160 K, 43 BB, 2.25 ERA, 3.36 xFIP

The Padres are in first place because of their pitching -- and Latos has been their best pitcher. While he certainly benefits from pitching at Petco Park, batters are hitting just .188/.247/.310 against him on the road. His ERA is 2.08 at home and 2.36 on the road. After starting 1-3 with a 5.47 ERA in his first five starts of the season, Latos has gone 12-2 with a  1.60 ERA in his last 20.

Adam Wainwright Adam Wainwright
St. Louis Cardinals
17-9, 195 1/3 IP, 178 K, 50 BB, 2.30 ERA, 3.21 xFIP

Last season Wainwright had the most first-place votes for the Cy Young, but finished third in voting. He led the NL in wins last season with 19 and is doing the same this season with 17. Not only that, his ERA is a third-of-a-run lower than it was a year ago. A top-five finish guarantees the last two years of his contract (through 2013) and gives him not only a bonus for the award, but an extra million dollars in 2012.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 3:38 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 4:42 pm

Skidding Padres could lose grip on NL West

Mat Latos With seven wins in their last eight tries, the Rockies suddenly find themselves seven games out of the division and just 3 1/2 games behind the Phillies for the wild card.

Seven games may seem like a lot of ground for the Rockies to make up, but the Padres have been skidding as of late, losing five in a row which has allowed the Giants to stay in the hunt (1 1/2 games out of the wild card, five out of the division) and the Rockies to catch up.

The Dodgers also consider themselves in the wild card race (5 1/2 games out, 9 out in the division), which should make September a very interesting month.

A late-season surge by Colorado is nothing new, but compound that with San Diego's slide and it's entirely possible the Padres could end up on the outside looking in during the postseason.

A big stretch to say for a team with a seven-game cushion? OK, perhaps the Mets have spoiled us all with late-season collapses, but the Padres certainly appear a team with a tenuous grasp on first place.

For starters, despite the team's success, this is still a team who was projected by many to finish dead last in the standings. There were reasons for that, ranging from an anemic offense to an unimpressive crew of starters behind phenom Mat Latos.

And all those still exist, obscured by a lockdown bullpen and the acquisitions of Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick. Those two acquisitions have gone a long way to upgrade San Diego's offense from mediocre to passable, but the bread and butter of October success -- starting pitching -- is still questionable as to how effective it can be, not just in October but down the stretch.

While the Padres lead baseball in xFIP with a 3.86 mark, they also have one of the largest splits between xFIP and ERA, with ERA checking in at 3.33 which also paces baseball. That ERA has slowly risen as the year has gone on, regressing to the mean. The pitching is no longer hiding any warts.

Ace Mat Latos (pictured) is already comfortably past the amount of increased inning restrictions teams tend to put on young pitchers. Latos could run out of gas at some point or get injured, whether in September or October as it's a dangerous bit of ground the Padres are currently navigating with the righty. Clayton Richard is another young pitcher who is extending his innings pitched beyond normal thresholds, on top of being a pitcher with disparity between his ERA and xFIP.

Then you have Jon Garland, a veteran pitching way over his head and two additional young pitchers with innings-pitched and effectiveness complications. It's easy to see how things could completely blow up in the Padres' face, having to shut down young pitchers and seeing massive regression from all overperformers to date.

It's quite unlikely for a perfect storm of regression to suddenly rear its head, but even a small amount of regression, as we're seeing currently, could be enough to drop the Padres into a NL West/wild card battle.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 22, 2010 4:27 pm

Padres giving Latos rest

Mat Latos The Padres have made sure to use their kid gloves on their kid ace, Mat Latos.

Latos is just 22 and in his second season in the majors. His right arm is as important to San Diego as the Pacific Ocean. But the Padres are also in a pennant race and also have to keep an eye on playoffs.

With that in mind, the Padres are giving Latos two more days rest next week. In addition to Monday's off day, his Wednesday start against Arizona has been pushed back to Friday's series-opener against Philadelphia.

"It's an opportunity with the off-day to get him a few days more of rest," Padres manager Bud Black told MLB.com . "We mentioned you might see this in the second half. He's been going at it hard the last number of starts."

The Padres have been cautious with Latos already, putting him on the disabled list after a sneeze caused him side pain. That gave him 16 days between starts.

The team has said it hopes to keep him between 150-180 innings this season. Latos has already thrown 142 2/3 innings this season (with a 13-5 record and 2.33 ERA).

Last season, Latos threw a total of 123 innings, 50 2/3 for San Diego and 72 1/3 innings between Class A and Double-A. He threw 56 innings in 2008 and 56 1/3 in 2007.

With a  five-game lead over the Giants in the National League West, the Padres have some breathing room. More important than padding their lead at this point is making sure Latos is ready for the postseason. With him having already made such a big jump in innings, it's only prudent to do what the Padres are doing now -- and likely through the rest of the season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 16, 2010 11:05 am

Table accident sidelines Branyan

Russell Branyan Yesterday the Padres placed Mat Latos on disabled list with a strained left side after he tried to hold a sneeze in, but that wasn't the only bizarre injury of the day.

Mariners first baseman Russell Branyan missed last night's game and will miss today's game after a table fell on Branyan's left foot Thursday morning in his hotel room, cutting and bruising his toe, manager Don Wakamatsu told the Seattle Times ' Larry Stone .

"He went to close the curtains this morning at 5," Wakamatsu said. "He knocked over the table and it landed on his foot."

Meanwhile, Stone also reports Erik Bedard has had a setback in his return from labrum surgery and went to see the doctor who performed the surgery last August.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 10:10 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 10:11 pm

Latos hurt trying to stifle sneeze

Mat Latos I never, ever wanted to have to type this, but it turns out my wife is right.

She told me it's bad for you to hold back a sneeze and I thought she was full of it. Mat Latos wouldn't argue with her.

The Padres starter tells MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter) that he hurt his left side while trying to hold back a sneeze Friday in Colorado and that was the first time he'd felt the pain.

Brock speculates Latos will be headed to the disabled list on Friday. He hasn't pitched since July 8 and would be eligible to come off the DL on July 24. With an off day on Monday, the Padres won't need a fifth starter until July 24 in Pittsburgh.

The team had hoped to limit Latos to 150-180 innings this season anyway and he has already thrown 106 2/3 innings.

The Padres are already looking to add a starter before the deadline, and any problems with Latos could intensify that need -- however, if it's more serious than a 15-day DL stint, it could damage the team's postseason hopes.

The Padres have the second-lowest payroll in the majors, so they have some flexibility to add money.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mat Latos, Padres
Posted on: July 5, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 7:40 pm

Injuries taking toll on All-Star rosters

Mat Latos As happens every year, injuries will make several snubs All-Stars anyway.

SoCal's aces should get a chance to play in Anaheim based on recent injuries.

Boston's Clay Buchholz is headed to the 15-day disabled list, while Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo is not going on the DL yet, he will not be available to pitch in next Tuesday's All-Star Game, Brewers manager Ken Macha told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy .

"Throwing in the All-Star Game? No," Macha said. "I'm saying that, best-case scenario, he's probably going to be doing no baseball activities for a least 10 days. … He's not going to pitch in the All-Star Game. You can't have a guy walk off the mound one week and then put him in [the All-Star] Game the next. No."

Gallardo could still go on the disabled list, though, with his strained left rib-cage muscle. He is scheduled to see the team's doctor on Monday. The Brewers brought outfielder Lorenzo Cain up from Triple-A Nashville to be at the park in case Gallardo is put on the disabled list.

Gallardo, certainly deserving of his All-Star spot, could make way for Mat Latos. The Padres' right-hander is 9-4 with a  2.62 ERA and leads the National League with a .963 WHIP.

On the American League side, there are at least thee spots on the pitching staff because of Buchholz's injury and the new rule stating that keeps pitchers from starting on the Sunday before the All-Star Game and in the game itself. That rule will take the Yankees' CC Sabathia and the A's Trevor Cahill from pitching in Anaheim.

Joe Girardi will reportedly replace Sabathia with Andy Pettitte, while Anaheim's Jered Weaver should get one of the spots to appear in his home park. Weaver leads the AL in strikeouts with 124 and is 8-3 with a 2.72 ERA. Other possibilities are Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Andrew Bailey.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com