San Diego, California
New Padres GM Jim Miller has laid the blueprint out for his winning formula, Bill James be damned: Speed + Defense + Pitching = Wins.
In case you have trouble reading between the lines, ‘Small Ball’ is coming to Petco Park in the near future. “We are going to put pressure on the opposing pitchers with team speed. We are going to move guys over and put them in scoring position through stealing bases and sacrificing. We are going to put pressure on the opposing defenses by forcing them to execute and by employing aggressive base running. And we are going to have top-flight pitching.” Miller said in the opening comments of his press conference this afternoon. With his blueprint in place, Miller has been working behind the scenes to begin assembling the individual pieces that will make his vision of the Padres Machine go. Today that first piece was acquired:
“I promised the people of San Diego a winner when I took over as GM. I believe we will achieve this with the combination of pitching, speed, and defense on the field along with the intangibles of professionalism, character and focus both on and off the field. Today we take an important step toward achieving this goal with the acquisition of Centerfielder Albert Almora. We know we are getting clubhouse leadership, tremendous defense, and great speed with his arrival to San Diego. He is somebody we think we can build around as we move forward with the new vision for Padres Baseball. Albert is currently in the minor leagues but we fully expect him to be in San Diego as a key contributor sooner rather than later and we feel strongly that he will embody everything we stand for moving forward. He is a welcome addition to the Padres family.” Miller said. To get the Chicago Cub minor leaguer the Padres dealt Triple-A starting pitcher Walker Wickel. “To make this trade happen we had to part with a future big league starting pitcher, Walker Weickel. We are extremely confident that the Cubs are getting a quality pitcher and even better, they are getting a great individual. We wish Walker all the best.” Miller said.
Spring Training is just around the corner and the Padres are projecting to finish near the bottom of the American League this year.