Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:27 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Padres' offseason was dominated by their trade with the Reds -- sending starter Mat Latos to Cincinnati for four players, including projected starting first baseman Yonder Alonso and former All-Star Edinson Volquez. In an attempt to find more offense, the Padres also added Carlos Quentin in a deal with the White Sox. The Padres know their problem is scoring runs, and now it's just trying to figure out how to get it.
Major additions: OF Carlos Quentin, 1B Yonder Alonso, RHP Edinson Volquez
Major departures: CL Heath Bell, RHP Mat Latos, 1B Anthony Rizzo, LHP Wade LeBlanc, RHP Aaron Harang
1. Will Venable RF
2. Chase Headley 3B
3. Cameron Maybin CF
4. Carlos Quentin LF
5. Yonder Alonso 1B
6. Nick Hundley C
7. Orlando Hudson 2B
8. Jason Bartlett SS
1. Tim Stauffer
2. Clayton Richard
3. Edinson Volquez
4. Cory Luebke
5. Dustin Moseley
Closer: Huston Street
Set-up: Luke Gregerson, Andrew Cashner, Joe Thatcher
Important bench players
OF Chris Denorfia, 1B Jesus Guzman, C John Baker, RP/PH Micah Owings
Prospects to watch
While the Latos trade is one that will be referenced throughout the season, the team could ultimately benefit more from last season's traded that sent reliever Mike Adams to Texas in return for right-hander Joe Wieland and left-hander Robbie Erlin. Both Wieland and Erlin are control pitchers with flyball tendencies that will benefit from the trade. Both starters project to benefit from pitching half their games at spacious Petco Park rather than at the bandbox in Texas. Wieland went 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts at Double-A San Antonio after the trade, while Erlin was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in six starts for the Padres' Texas League affiliate. Both could find themselves in the big leagues later this year.
Fantasy sleeper: Edinson Volquez
"Volquez struck out 19 in 23 2/3 innings and held the opposition to a .250 batting average in four September starts. Another reason to be encouraged is that Volquez has a strong history at his new home ballpark, going 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. PETCO Park can also help Volquez as he looks to cut down on his home runs allowed. Volquez was plagued by the long ball in 2011, yielding 1.6 homers per nine innings." -- Michael Hurcomb [Full Padres fantasy preview]
Fantasy bust: Yonder Alonso
"There are a few issues heading into 2012 we need to highlight before Fantasy owners reach for Alonso on Draft Day. The first being that he is moving to pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. Alonso is more of a line-drive hitter, which won't help his power numbers in San Diego. Second, Alonso is just 69 games into his MLB career. Once opposing teams get a better scouting report, the road will almost certainly get tougher for Alonso." -- Michael Hurcomb [Full Padres fantasy preview]
The offensive additions bring a jolt to the Padres, with Quentin leading the way. While Petco does play big, it's not as extreme against right-handed pull hitters and he has one of the best offensive seasons we've seen in Petco. Speaking of offense, Alonso's left-handed but his natural stroke leads to a ton of doubles and with Maybin on base more often, he scores easily on so many of Alonso's two-baggers. The pitching staff benefits from the park more than the offense hurts and once again an unheralded pitching staff dominates -- led by a finally healthy Volquez -- and leads San Diego to a surprising run at the National League West title.
It's the same old, same old -- decent pitching at home, but not enough runs. Without scoring runs, the team slogs through another season, losing more than 90 games again. But hey, they're still in San Diego, so it's not all that bad.
Tags: Aaron Harang, Andrew Cashner, Anthony Rizzo, Bud Black, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Chase HEadley, CHris Denorfia, Clayton Richard, Cory Luebke, Dustin Mosely, Edinson Volquez, Heath Bell, Huston Street, Jason Bartlett, Jesus Guzman, Joe Thatcher, Joe Wieland, John Baker, Luke Gregerson, Mat Latos, Micah Owings, Mike Adams, Nick Hundley, NL West, Orlando Hudson, Padres, Robbie Erlin, spring primer, Tim Stauffer, Wade LaBlanc, Will Venable, Yonder Alonso
Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:24 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Every trade happens for a reason -- or two reasons, actually. One for each side. With Saturday's big deal between the Reds and Padres, we'll look at the reasons for both sides. You can read the Reds' reasons here, but here's why the Padres sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati:
The Padres aren't expected to contend in 2012, instead, they're building for the future, just as they did last season when they sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. While the Padres sent Gonzalez to Boston because they couldn't afford to pay him what he was going to make, they traded Latos to add overall talent, getting two big leaguers and two prospects who aren't far off.
As for Latos, the 24-year-old came into 2011 as the team's ace, but failed to live up to his outstanding 2010. The Padres were unhappy that Latos came into spring training last season out of shape and they also questioned his maturity at times. San Diego has stockpiled young pitching with the likes of Tim Stauffer and Clayton Richard -- with Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin in the minor leagues getting closer to being able to contribute. And let's face it, you don't need swing-and-miss stuff to succeed at Petco Park.
The bottom line for San Diego is they got more talent than they gave up on Saturday.
In all, San Diego got four players and three, if not all four, could play in San Diego this upcoming season.
• Anthony Rizzo may be the Padres' top prospect, but the first baseman wasn't expected to be ready to man the position right away. Yonder Alonso, on the other hand, is more than ready. Playing nearly with any other team, he'd have gotten more than 98 plate appearances than he got with the Reds in 2011. But that's what happens when you're playing behind the reining MVP. In those 98 plate appearances, he hit .330/.398/.545 and showed a bit of power, but his plate awareness was even more impressive. The Reds flirted with putting Alonso in left field and at third base, but he never gained the confidence of the team's top brass at either spot. Byrnes said the team would use Alonso at first, and "probably not" in the outfield.
• Yasmani Grandal was Cincinnati's top pick in 2010. A switch-hitting catcher, Grandal played at three different levels in 2011, hitting 14 home runs between Single-A Bakersfield, Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville. Like Alonso, his former teammate at the University of Miami, Grandal's knowledge of the strike zone and approach at the plate is one of his top attributes. Reviews of his work behind the plate have been mixed so far. While he may not be ready to play in the majors this season, he is still easily the Padres' top catching prospect. San Diego drafted Austin Hedges in the second round of the 2011 draft and have been impressed by him, but he's still several years away from the majors.
• Brad Boxberger (pictured) isn't one of the names many casual fans had heard of, but the Reds were considering him in the mix for the closer spot if they are unable to find a free-agent or trade replacement for Francisco Cordero. The Padres also think he could be a closer for them down the line. A supplemental first-rounder in the 2009 draft out of USC, Boxberger had 11 saves between Double-A and Triple-A in 2011, striking out 93 batters in 62 innings. He has struggled with control, but showed better command in the Arizona Fall League. On Saturday, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Boxberger was possibly the key to the deal. The Reds had been dangling the other three players, but didn't want to move Boxberger. But the Padres insisted and Jocketty made the move.
• Finally there's the former All-Star, Edinson Volquez. Still just 28, Volquez's talent has never been in question. He has an electric right arm and a great changeup. As much as his control has been in question, the true struggles have been above the neck. He was twice sent to the minor leagues in 2011, mirroring his behavior from earlier in his career with the Rangers. The Reds, unsure if Josh Hamilton could stay healthy and wanting an elite arm, traded Hamilton for Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera after the 2007 season. Both Volquez and Hamilton made the All-Star team in 2008, but Volquez then had arm troubles and missed most of 2009 and 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Since his return, he's showed velocity, but not control or consistency. He could bounce back, but walks have been his biggest problem, so playing at Petco Park won't help him as much as other pitchers.
Latos is a talent, but in the end, the Reds offered just too much for the Padres to walk away from the deal.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:05 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
If there's an opposite of the Oakland A's and Billy Beane's Moneyball, it's Kenny Williams and the White Sox. The White Sox have not drafted well and searched to fill holes through free agency, spending money and taking big chances in trades. While Williams' way makes him the butt of some jokes and nobody's making a movie about him anytime soon, he does have something Beane doesn't have -- a World Series trophy.
1. Alexei Ramirez, SS
2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
3. Michael Morse, 1B
4. Chris Young, CF
5. Carlos Lee, DH
6. Magglio Ordonez, RF
7. Ryan Sweeney, LF
8. Brent Morel, 3B
9. Chris Stewart, C
1. Mark Buehrle
2. Gio Gonzalez
3. Daniel Hudson
4. Brandon McCarthy
5. Clayton Richard
Closer - Jon Rauch
Set up - Matt Guerrier, Chris Sale, Addison Reed, Boone Logan, John Ely
Long - Lucas Harrell
Notable Bench Players
Not surprisingly, when looking at the state of the organization (and the state of that lineup), the White Sox are thin on bench players, with Dayan Viciedo making a push for the starting lineup as well as Chris Getz on the infield and Mike Cameron in the outfield.
There's no Adam Dunn, for starters. The rotation is good, especially at the top with Buehrle and Gonzalez. The rest of the rotation is good enough, as well. While Rauch isn't the top closer around, the rest of the bullpen is talented.
The lineup isn't going to strike fear into too many pitching staffs, even though there are nice pieces. The corner outfielder and DH are all on the down side of their career. There's also not much depth on the roster among position players.
Comparison to real 2011
The White Sox finished 79-83 in 2011, thanks to poor seasons from Dunn, Morel, Beckham and Alex Rios. The rotation is likely a little better in real life than this team, while the bullpen is better here than in real life, evening out. The lineup may not put up a lot of runs, but the White Sox didn't, either. The real team has an impact bat in Paul Konerko and a good complimentary piece in Carlos Quentin. This lineup doesn't have those kinds of weapons, so I'm not so sure our hypothetical team could match the 79 wins the White Sox finished with in 2011.
Next: Baltimore Orioles
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Tags: Adam Dunn, Addison Reed, AL Central, Alexi Ramirez, Boone Logan, Brandon McCarthy, Brent Morel, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Lee, Chris Getz, Chris Sale, Chris Stewart, Chris Young, Clayton Richard, Daniel Hudson, Dayan Viciedo, Gio Gonzalez, Gordon Beckham, Homegrown, John Ely, Jon Rauch, Kenny Williams, Lucas Harrell, Magglio Ordonez, Mark Buehrle, Matt Guerrier, Michael Morse, Mike Cameron, Ryan Sweeney, White Sox
Posted on: September 22, 2011 4:12 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: San Diego Padres
Record: 68-88, 19.5 games back in NL West
Manager: Bud Black
Best hitter: Chase Headley -- .291/.377/.405, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 42 R, 28 2B, 13 SB
Best pitcher: Mat Latos -- 8-14, 3.60 ERA, 1.212 WHIP, 176 K, 187 1/3 IP
2011 SEASON RECAP
San Diego was eight games back by the end of April, so it's hardly a surprise the team finished dead last in the NL West. After fantastic pitching led the team to the brink of the playoffs a year ago, the team couldn't recreate its magic of 2010. Mat Latos took a step back (but was still pretty good), while Clayton Richard made just 18 starts before being shut down for the season and undergoing shoulder surgery.
While nobody stepped up to take all of Gonzalez's offensive load, the team had some surprisingly good offensive performances, as third baseman Chase Headley put together a solid season, as did catcher Nick Hundley (.289/.352/.471 with eight homers) and first baseman Jesus Guzman (.313/.369/.479 with five homers). And then there was Cameron Maybin, the former first-round pick of the Tigers and big part of the trade that sent Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera from Florida to Detroit had been labeled as a disappointment for several years now despite the fact he's now just 24 years old. Not only did Maybin hit a respectable .266/.322/.397 with nine homers and 38 stolen bases, he's shown the ability to patrol the spacious outfield at Petco. If he continues to improve and works on his on-base percentage, Maybin can be a maintain in San Diego.
With the rise of the Diamondbacks, the return of the Giants, what has to be a better year for the Rockies and hopefully new ownership in Los Angeles, there's not much room for optimism in the NL West for the lowly Padres. But hey, it's a really nice ballpark, and you live in San Diego, what can you really complain about?
The rotation should be relatively stable, with Latos, Richard, Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley, with Cory Luebke, Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland and Casey Kelly ready to step in if needed. The bullpen is a bigger question, with free agent Heath Bell and the departure of Mike Adams.
The biggest weakness in the lineup is the middle infield, where Orlando Hudson was OK, but aging, and Jason Bartlett didn't do much. Kyle Blanks has once again flashed the ability to rise above the constraints of the ballpark, but lacked consistency.
FREE AGENTSHeath Bell, RP
Jeremy Hermida, OF
Can the Padres get anyone who can actually hit the ball? Or is it that tough to do Petco Park? Well, it'd be nice to get a big bopper, but with the reputation of Petco, no free agent hitter in his right mind is going to sign with San Diego. Even those with good numbers before coming to Petco, like Ryan Ludwick, left without much success. While Ludwick hasn't exactly rebounded in Pittsburgh, his free agent stock will take a tumble and there's no doubt he and his agent will blame it on Petco. Petco -- and the team's payroll ceiling -- will force the Padres to add offense through trades and developments rather than free-agent signings.
Then there's the matter of the team's bullpen. There will be a lot of the same names, but the backend will be different than it was this season after the trade of Adams and the possible departure of Bell. Here's five things I'd do to help the Padres going forward:
No, the Padres aren't going to the World Series with these moves, but they'll be under budget and have a better idea of what their futures holds after the 2012 season. Some things may not work out, Rizzo may not be the hitter we think he is, but we'll know. And as a wise man once said, that's half the battle. The other half is lasers.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Harang, Adrian Gonzalez, Bud Black, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cameron Maybin, Casey Kelly, Chase Headley, Clayton Richard, Corey Luebke, Dustin Mosely, Heath Bell, James Darnell, Jason Bartlett, Jeremy Hermida, Jesus Guzman, Joe Wieland, Mat Latos, Matt Belisle, Nick Hundley, NL West, Orlando Hudson, Padres, R.I.P., Robbie Erlin, Shawn Camp, Tim Stauffer, Todd Coffey
Posted on: May 29, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: May 29, 2011 1:40 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Hairston is in the Nationals' lineup on Sunday against the Padres, batting seventh and playing third base.
"I had no clue in my wildest dreams I would get suspended," Hairston told the Washington Post. "I was definitely shocked. Never have I pushed or shoved an umpire, and I never will. I never cussed at him. I felt I pleaded my case, and I felt that’s all I did. Sometimes, I'm an emotional guy. I can be very high strung. I can be a little more, I guess, showy at times. I never pushed or shoved him. The video speaks loud and clear."
On Friday, Hairston explained his side to MLB.com's Bill Ladson:
And now he doesn't feel the need to be suspended.
MLB's Joe Garagiola Jr. cited Hairston for "aggressive actions, which included making contact" with an umpire. Video showed Hairston inadvertently brushed umpire Brian O'Nora when pointing toward home plate.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 10:25 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
NOT AS PLANNED -- This isn't quite as either team planned it, but James Russell and Tim Wakefield will start the finale of the Cubs-Red Sox series at Fenway Park. The left-handed Russell is filling in for Matt Garza, who was scratched with tightness in his right elbow, while Wakefield has joined the team's rotation with John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL. The knuckleballer did not pitch the last time these two met at Fenway Park in the 1918 Series, but he did anxiously await the scores via telegram. Wakefield's made two starts so far this season, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in a total of 10 innings. Russell is 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in four starts and 14 1/3 innings pitched. This is probably not the matchup TV execs thought they'd see when they made it the national game for Sunday night -- or maybe they were just counting on the rapture. Cubs at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)
PUTRID AT PETCO -- The Padres were shut out for the ninth time this season on Saturday and sixth time at home. They are now 8-17 at Petco Park in 2011. San Diego has managed just one run, eight hits and 22 strikeouts in the first two games against the Mariners and today have to face Felix Hernandez. The Mariners, however, are just continuing their trend of stifling offenses, as they've allowed two or fewer runs in each of their last two games. The Padres have scored just four runs while today's starter, Clayton Richard, has been on the mound at Petco -- not surprisingly, the Richard is 0-3 in five home starts this season. Mariners at Padres, 4:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)
SLUMPING -- Many -- myself included -- believed if you put Adam Dunn in U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox may have to increase their budget for baseballs. Instead, the $56-million designated hitter is struggling mightily in his new home. While wearing the pinstripes at the Cell, Dunn is hitting .102/.206/.220 in 17 home games and has launched just two homers at home. He has yet to get a hit off of a left-handed pitcher -- in any stadium -- this season. Good news for Dunn today, though, he faces a familiar face from the National League, Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Dunn is hitting .429/.636/1.143 with a homer in 11 plate appearances against Kuroda. Dodgers at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 29, 2011 5:49 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Ethier's Kryptonite? -- We all know about Andre Ethier's 24-game hitting streak. Tonight could be the night it ends. Ethier is 1 for 13 in his career against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard with two strikeouts and no walks. Richard is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA and pitched into the eighth inning in his last start. Padres at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET
Welcome back -- Clint Barmes was supposed to be the Astros' long-term answer at shortstop. Instead, he suffered a broken hand in spring training and hadn't played this season. Tonight he makes his Astros debut, batting second and playing short. Barmes hit .400 (6 for 15) in four minor-league rehab games this week. Brewers at Astros, 8:05 p.m. ET
He lives -- The Yankees seemed to have struck gold in two reclamation projects -- two nights ago Bartolo Colon looked like he was poised for another Cy Young and tonight Freddy Garcia makes his third start of the season. In his first two, Garcia has allowed just four hits and no runs in 12 innings. He faces the hard-luck Ricky Romero, who struck out 10 Rays and allowed just five hits in his last outing and picked up a loss. He's received just four runs of support in his last four starts. Blue Jays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ETFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 4:43 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 4:53 pm
The power of the mullet is in full force in Colorado, where Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is continuing his unreal home run surge.
Tulowitzki hit a three-run shot against San Diego's Clayton Richard in the third inning, then hit another three-run shot in the fourth off Edward Mujica. They were his 10th and 11th homers in the past 13 games. He had nine homers in the first half of the season.
As MLB.com points out, the Rockies record for September home runs is 12, and Tulowitzki is just one shy of that with 13 more games on the schedule this month.
In 13 games entering Thursday, Tulowitzki (shown getting a recent post-homer sunflower seed shower) was batting .365 and slugging .981 with 20 RBI, 16 runs scored and 13 extra-base hits. In the first half today, he's tacked on another two homers and seven RBIs.
The Rockies might not even need this late-season surge if they'd had a healthy Tulowitzki all year. He missed 33 games with a chip fracture in his wrist and has only recently gotten back to full strength.
-- David Andriesen
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