Joel Santo dealing; Arizona Fall League Padres

The Arizona Fall League participants from the Padres' system are becoming clear. Josh Barfield is still smokin' in Portland. Jared Wells back in Elsinore? Not as far fetched as it sounds. Michael Johnson's impressive stat comes to an end. Joel Santo has been on top of his games for the last two months. Geoff Vandel is whiffing batters at a historic rate.

The Padres will send catcher George Kottaras, first baseman Michael Johnson, second baseman Josh Barfield, left-handed reliever Rusty Tucker and at least two other pitchers to the Arizona Fall League, which begins play on October 4th.

Portland won 5-4

Josh Barfield continued the hot streak that he has been riding for three months. The second baseman went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a homer, his 12th, and two RBI's. It was his third homer in the last seven games and in 17 games during the month of August he has driven in 16 with the aid of six doubles and four homers. Barfield has batted second in the order in 25 games and is hitting .398 from that spot in the lineup. He is also hitting .352 with runners in scoring position on the year.

Craig Breslow continues to mow down the opposition since being sent down to Portland from San Diego. He pitched an inning of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and striking out one. He has pitched four scoreless since joining the Beavers and has a stretch of eight straight appearances in the minors without allowing a run, a span of 8.2 innings. He has allowed just four hits and a walk over that timeframe while striking out nine. Breslow has given up runs in ten of his 43 appearances this year.

Mobile lost 6-5

Peeter Ramos is showing some signs of breaking out of his Double-A slump. The second baseman went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a solo homer. It was his first extra base hit in Southern League play and his third jack of the season. Ramos has a four game hitting streak, snapping a 6-for-44 slump to begin his Double-A tenure. Ramos has found success in the eight-hole. He is 9-for-25 in the eighth spot in the lineup and just 2-for-34 hitting anywhere else.

Jared Wells had his roughest outing since joining Mobile from Lake Elsinore. In fact, it was his second worst outing of the year. Wells gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits and three walks in five frames. He also two wild pitches. Despite a 3.77 ERA, Wells has lost four straight games – more than he had during his first 19 starts with Lake Elsinore. The opposition is hitting .298 off him since joining Mobile.

There are rumblings that Wells will be sent down to Lake Elsinore after the BayBears complete their six game swing in a three day span this weekend so he can finish what he started in the California League and win a Championship. Word is he has actually requested to be sent down but it would need the approval of minor league baseball after a specific date. Players are not allowed to move down in the system for playoff purposes to prevent teams from stacking. Since Wells played so long in the California League it is likely they would grant him permission to join the team.

Lake Elsinore lost 7-5

Michael Johnson, who is heading to the Fall League when his season ends, went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The first baseman has a five game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 13 straight. On Thursday, however, he didn't knock in a run and now has played more games than he has RBI's, 55-to-54. It is hard to believe with those stats that he is hitting just .225 with runners in scoring position (RISP). He has just 18 hits in 80 at bats with RISP but has 40 RBI's in such cases.

Clark Girardeau surrendered five runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks. It marked the fifth straight game that he has given up four earned or more and the ninth time in 15 starts. Since the beginning of July (he did miss several starts in July due to injury), Girardeau has an ERA of 8.07. Left-handed hitters are batting .336 off the righty and the opposition is batting .327 off him with RISP.

Fort Wayne won 8-2

Joel Santo won his second straight game for the first time this year to push his record to 4-8. Ironically, his first two games of the year came in a three game span in middle to late May. He went six innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks. Santo has allowed 14 earned runs over his last eight starts. Since the start of July Santo has an ERA of 3.14. He has improved every single month since the start of the season, from a 5.60 ERA in April to a 2.45 ERA in August. Much of his success comes from a .237 average with RISP and a .186 average against with RISP and two outs.

Matt Lauderdale isn't ready to concede his spot to Nick Hundley just yet. The catcher went 2-for-4 with a homer, his eighth, two runs scored and three RBI's. Over his last 12 games he is hitting .313 with six doubles, four homers and 17 RBI's. Twenty-three of his last 38 hits have gone for extra bases. Since the start of July he has a .405 on base percentage. Lauderdale is hitting .372 with RISP.

Eugene had the night off

AZL Padres lost 5-4

Geoff Vandel took the loss on an unearned run in the ninth but it was a stellar performance nonetheless. Vandel struck out seven in 3.2 innings of work, allowing the one unearned run on two hits and a walk. That means 64 percent of his outs came by way of the strikeout and would equal 17 K's over a nine inning game. He has now struck out 19 in 12 innings and holds a .190 batting average against. Vandel sports a 0.75 ERA for the year and has given up just one hit with RISP.

Javis Diaz' fourth extra base hit of the year was also his first homer as a pro. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with two RBI's to give him 11 multi-hit games in 27 contests. Diaz, who was dropped to third in the order after spending the bulk of his time in the leadoff spot, has struggled since the move. He is hitting .243 when batting in the three hole but does own a .379 average with RISP.

Josh Howard has reached base safely in all 12 games he has appeared in for Peoria. Howard has hits in 11 of those contests and has scored a run in four straight. He has scored ten runs this year and has knocked in seven while adding six stolen bases. He is 10-for-19 with runners on base and is hitting .833 with RISP and two outs early in his career.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at denis@sandiegosports.net. Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during MadFriars.com weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.


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