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 22, 2011 10:57 am
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.
While most of the teams on our list would love a do-over for 2011 -- or at least part of it, the season somehow worked out pretty well for the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that took advantage of an epic collapse and capitalized upon its chance by winning the World Series. The moves made by both the current management team and former executives, all worked out for one glorious season in St. Louis, so it's another example of why the exercise is for fun only. But there's one thing our Homegrown Cardinals have that the 2012 version doesn't -- Albert Pujols.
1. Jon Jay, RF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Allen Craig, LF
5. Colby Rasmus, CF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Brendan Ryan, SS
8. Skip Schumaker, 2B
1. Dan Haren
2. Jaime Garcia
3. Kyle McClellan
4. Chris Narveson
5. Lance Lynn
Closer - Chris Perez
Set up - Mitchell Boggs, Fernando Salas, Luke Gregerson, Blake Hawksworth, Eduardo Sanchez
Notable Bench Players
The bench has some interesting players -- you have defensive replacements in Jack Wilson and Coco Crisp, some pop in Brett Wallace, J.D. Drew and Rick Ankiel, as well as some versatility in Daniel Descalso. Daric Barton's there, too, but not sure where or when he'd ever play considering Pujols is still a Cardinal here.
Any lineup with Pujols is not bad -- but it's not overwhelming, either. While lacking some of the firepower from Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, there are still some passable players. While there's no Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright, there is Dan Haren and the top two of the rotation are good. The strength of this team -- and Tony La Russa would certainly love this -- is the bullpen. Not only are their Cardinals holdovers of Motte, Boggs, Salas and Sanchez, you also add Perez, Gergerson and Hawksowrth, giving this team plenty of relief options.
After the top two in the rotation, the rest are pretty pedestrian. McClellan is not only in the rotation -- where he started in 2011 -- but he's also going to be either a No. 3 or No. 4. The outfield isn't terrible, but when you take away Berkman and Holliday, it's going to pale in comparison.
Comparison to real 2011
Let's just get to the point, the margin for error for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals was razor thin, but they stayed on the right side of it just enough to go on to one of the most exciting, improbable runs of all time to capture the World Series title. There is no way this hypothetical team could do anything close to what the real Cardinals did. The offensive firepower isn't the same and there's no Chris Carpenter. No, this team doesn't just fail to win the World Series or make the playoffs, it fails to reach .500 and probably finishes in the bottom half of our made-up NL Central.
Next: Ranking the Homegrown teams.
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Tags: Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols, Allen Craig, Blake Hawksworth, Brendan Ryan, Brett Wallace, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Chris Carpenter, Chris Narveson, Chris Perez, Coco Crisp, Colby Rasmus, Dan Haren, Daniel Descalso, Daric Barton, Eduardo Sanchez, Fernando Salas, Homegrown, J.D. Drew, Jack Wilson, Jaime Garcia, Jon Jay, Kyle McClellan, Lance Lynn, Luke Gregerson, Mitchell Boggs, NL Central, Placido Polanco, Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, Tony La Russa, Yadier Molina
Posted on: July 9, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 8:29 pm
Oh, so close for the Padres ... sort of.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 8:27 pm
Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said he expects Adrian Gonzalez to begin 2011 in San Diego, but doesn't foresee an extension before next offseason.
Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Twitter ) that it's a "near-certainty" that Gonzalez wants to explore free agency. The team picked up his $6.2 million option earlier this week.
"My expectation is [Gonzalez] will be a Padre [to begin] in 2011," Hoyer told Brock.
However, Hoyer did say the team would listen to any offers for Gonzalez.
UPDATE: According to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter ), Hoyer said the team is open to talks for closer Heath Bell. Hoyer said the team has two potential closers in Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:56 am
As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The San Diego Padres.
Few people expected to see the Padres in the playoffs, and in the end, nobody did.
But San Diego’s postseason hopes were supposed to be buried by about June, not the last weekend of the season with a crushing collapse. The Padres spent most of the season in first place in the National League West behind a tremendous pitching staff, only to find that in the end their lack of offense would do them in.
What they accomplished was impressive considering they had the second-lowest payroll in baseball, but Padres fans will remember 2010 for what might have been.
WHAT WENT WRONG
In a word, September. The Padres entered the month in the clutches of a 10-game losing streak that turned their season the wrong direction, and they couldn’t regroup.
San Diego went 14-17 after September 1, batting .229 and failing to score more than a run nine times. Clinging to a half-game division lead on September 25, the Padres lost five of their last eight (three by shutout), capped by a 3-0 loss on the final day of the season that gave the division to the Giants and left them out of the playoff picture.
Adding Ryan Ludwick at the deadline looked like a great move, exactly what they needed to give the offense some punch. But moving to cavernous Petco Park, Ludwick’s batting average dropped 80 points after the trade to .211, and his slugging percentage dropped more than 150 points to a miserable .330.
Injuries didn’t help matters. David Eckstein, Jerry Hairston, Everth Cabrera and Tony Gwynn Jr. missed big chunks of the season, as did pitcher Chris Young.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The pitching, particularly the lights-out bullpen, was tremendous. The relief corps, led by Mike Adams, Luke Gregorson and Heath Bell, had baseball’s lowest ERA, 2.81, and limited hitters to a .220 average. If the starting pitcher left with a lead, it was all but over for the opposition.
Speaking of starting pitchers, the Padres’s top three – Clayton Richard, Jon Garland and Mat Latos -- each won 14 games. Latos went through a streak of near-invincibility, going a major-league record 15 consecutive starts giving up two or fewer earned runs between June and September.
All-Star Adrian Gonzalez was the offensive highlight, batting .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBI, which not only led the team but was 43 more than the next-highest total. Jerry Hairston was a huge spark off the bench, playing five positions and racking up 50 RBI despite batting a modest .244.
HELP ON THE WAY
With the Padres fighting for a postseason berth, Simon Castro didn’t get a September callup, but the right-handed starter is right at the top of San Diego’s prospects list. He struggled after going up to Triple-A, but the 22-year-old has a bright future.
A bit farther away is 20-year-old outfielder Jaff Decker, a left-hander power hitter who will be moving up fast from Class A.
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011
The arms are there for another run at the playoffs. The entire bullpen (barring trades) returns, and they have a nice stable of starters. If they can fix their obvious offensive shortcomings, they won’t be catching anyone by surprise next year.
SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011
Owner Jeff Moorad says he won’t allow Gonzalez to be traded before next season, which is a good thing. Even if you could get multiple offensive pieces in return, consider Gonzalez your bird in the hand. There might be no other player in baseball who represents a bigger chunk of his team’s offense, and his $5.5 million option is reasonable.
Young’s $8.5 million option, on the other hand, is not realistic. That would represent nearly a quarter of the team’s payroll, and given his injury history and the team’s other options, they can’t do it. Bell is in his final year of arbitration and will get a raise, and the Padres have to consider trying to lock him up long-term.
Re-sign Eckstein, which shouldn’t cost much. Try to get Hairston back. And look for bargain offensive help that can hit in the gaps.
You can’t count on the Padres repeating their across-the-board pitching excellence, so it’s going to take more than a token offensive improvement to make them a viable contender. There’s some talent rising up in the division, and it will be tough for the Padres to keep pace with their payroll.
Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.
-- David Andriesen
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .