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 31, 2011 7:12 pm
While the White Sox have sent some mixed messages this offseason, the Padres have not. New San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes wants his team to score more runs in 2012, and he again made a move to try to do that acquiring outfielder Carlos Quentin from the White Sox in exchange for two minor-league pitchers.
"Ownership let us stretch payroll to make this move," Byrnes said Saturday afternoon on a conference call. "We started a couple of years ago, when (former GM) Jed (Hoyer) put a big focus on building a talent base and acquiring prospects to a point where it's a real strength. (Owner Jeff Morad) told me we had ways to stretch our payroll if we can be a surprise team in 2012 and have a foundation to sustain success at the Major League level."
Byrnes, who took over the team when Hoyer went to the Cubs, has used not only what is arguably the game's deepest farm system, but also some of the current talent to improve the Padres' immediate future.
Since taking over, Byrnes acquired a replacement at closer for Heath Bell in Huston Street, pulled off a big trade with the Reds that brought in Yonder Alonso and Edinson Volquez, along with more prospects, for Mat Latos. And the Byrnes may not be done yet.
"We feel like we still have some work to do," Byrnes said. "I think certainly the biggest weakness of the 2011 team, the offense, we feel like we've taken some steps to improve it."
Quentin was named to his second All-Star team last season, hitting 17 home runs in the first half of the season, before being limited to just 33 games after the All-Star Game in Arizona. The San Diego native -- and current resident -- hit 36 homers in 2008 and has averaged nearly 24 homers a season since, despite playing in just 116 games a year since his break-out season.
"He's a real threat and we lacked that last season," Byrnes said. "Last year, when we were down two or three runs, we were out of the game."
Quentin also is a better fit than many for Petco Park because he's a right-handed hitter and the majority of his homers are to left field, where it's easier to homer at Petco. Of Quentin's 24 home runs in 2011, all but one came to the left of second base. While U.S. Cellular Field has the opposite reputation for home run hitters as Petco, 14 of his 24 homers were calculated to have gone out in all 30 parks, according to HitTrackerOnline.com -- and as Byrnes noted, the Padres do play half their games away from Petco Park, something he's no doubt told free agent hitters since taking over.
"I've heard the different talks about the park. I was here when the park was first built -- I'm familiar with it, I've played here," Quentin said. "Bottom line is I'm a hitter first. … It's always been my approach to hit first and stay within myself. That's the most ideal approach to produce power. I'm not planning on changing that at all."
Acquiring Quentin helps rectify what Byrnes called one of his "regrets." As general manager of the Diamondbacks, Byrnes sent Quentin to the White Sox in December of 2007 in a move that helped bring Dan Haren to Arizona.
"The key point with Carlos is the intensity he has, he plays with a real edge and that's something we've been missing," Byrnes said.
While one of the pitchers the Padres traded away, right-hander Simon Castro, was ranked as a Top 100 prospect before the 2011 season, he struggled in 2011 at Double-A and Triple-A, putting up a 5.63 ERA (although some of that can be attributed to the altitude in Tucson). Castro, and left-hander Pedro Hernandez, were unlikely to be ranked in the Padres' Top 10. Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein had Castro ranked as the team's 20th best prospect and Hernandez wasn't ranked by Goldstein, so the true cost of the Padres' acquisition will be money. Quentin is arbitration-eligible and will be a free agent after the season. He could make as much as $8 million this season through arbitration, plus the Padres took on payroll in the Latos deal, meaning the team could see a significant bump in its payroll for 2012.
As for the White Sox, they have perhaps the worst minor-league system in baseball and the acquisition of Castro and Hernandez should help. Both should be in Chicago's top prospects list. The White Sox have already traded off closer Sergio Santos and despite the extension for John Danks, the team appears to be in rebuilding mode, which is why they went ahead and dealt Quentin.
Tags: C. Trent Rosecrans, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Chase Headley, Chris Denorfia, Edinson Volquez, Huston Street, Jed Hoyer, Jeff Morad, Jesus Guzman, Josh Byrnes, Kyle Blanks, Mark Kotsay, Mat Latos, Nick Hundley, NL West, Padres, PEdro Hernandez, Simon Castro, White Sox, Will Venable, Yonder Alonso
Posted on: November 24, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 1:38 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 waivers, 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.
On one end of this spectrum is the team with baseball's highest payroll, the Yankees, and now we'll look at the other end, the San Diego Padres. The Padres have just $16.9 allocated toward its 2012 payroll at the end of the 2011 season, versus the Yankees' $171.5 million. The Padres weren't just at the opposite end of the payroll spectrum as the Yankees, they're also in the other league, the opposite coast and on the other end of the standings, finsihing last in the NL West with a 71-91 record.
1. Chase Headley, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. David Freese, 3B
4. Derrek Lee, 1B
5. Kyle Blanks, RF
6. Will Venable, CF
7. Nick Hundley, C
8. Logan Forsyth, 2B
1. Jake Peavy
2. Mat Latos
3. Tim Stauffer
4. Wade LeBlanc
5. Cory Luebke
Closer - Shawn Camp
Set up - Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Ryan Webb, Josh Spence, Ernesto Frieri
Long - David Pauley, Anthony Bass
Notable Bench Players
Xavier Nady, George Kottaras
The bullpen may not have a guy that comes in and records a ton of saves, but there are some decent arms to get between the starters to the closer. The rotation isn't terrible -- it's not great, but it's not terrible, and pitching at Petco just about any rotation is going to be at least OK.
Like the real Padres, that lineup isn't going to put up a whole lot of runs. The Padres haven't had an easy time figuring out how to score runs at Petco, no matter where the players come from. Lee would have helped much more in the past than in 2011, and playing at Petco wouldn't have helped him, either. While Bartlett and Lee are good defenders, the rest of this group could struggle, especially with Headley back in the outfield and Veneble in center.
Comparison to real 2011
Finishing 71-91, the Padres weren't great, but they were probably better than this product. The rotation would hinge on Peavy's health. Peavy managed 18 starts for the White Sox, going 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA. There's no telling what his record would be with the Padres, considering the team's offensive woes, but his ERA would have been lower. Overall, this team isn't scaring anyone and while the record may be different with this team, its place in the standings would likely be the same.
Up next: Minnesota Twins
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Anthony Bass, Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Chase Headley, Cory Luebke, David Freese, David Pauley, Derrek Lee, Ernesto Frieri, George Kottaras, Homegrown, Jake Peavy, Jason Bartlett, Josh Spence, Kyle Blanks, Logan Forsyth, Mat Latos, Nick Hundley, NL West, Padres, Ryan Webb, Shawn Camp, Tim Stauffer, Wade LeBlanc, Will Venable, Xavier Nady
Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:24 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Jon Danks, White Sox: Not only did Danks pick up the win against the Diamondbacks, going seven innings allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned), but he also stayed in the game after being hit in the head by a liner off the bat of Stephen Drew. In the fourth inning, Drew hit a liner off the back of Drew's head that bounced into the stands near the Arizona dugout. Danks just laughed off the incident and stayed in the game. Watch the play here.
Johnny Damon, Rays: Damon iced up his 500th double in the first inning of the Rays' victory over the Marlins. He's the 53rd player to reach the 500 doubles mark, but just the 11th plater to ever accumulate 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers and 2,500 hits. All 10 of the others -- George Brett, Lou Gehrig, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays, Paul Molitor, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Al Simmons and Robin Yount -- are in the Hall of Fame.
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: Holliday's two-run homer in the eighth inning off of Kansas City's Greg Holland to end the Cardinals' seven-game losing streak. Holliday has two home runs in his three games back from the disabled list, going 5 for 9 with at least one RBI in each of the games.
Padres offense: Well exempt Chris Denorfia and Will Venable from this list for Saturday's worst results, because both of those Padres had multiple hits -- with Denorfia leading off the game with a triple, only to be stranded. None of the rest of the Padres managed a hit. Anthony Rizzo worked a walk off of Minnesota's Scott Baker, but those five were the only baserunners of the night. The Twins weren't much better, managing six hits and one walk, but Danny Valencia's homer was enough offense for the 1-0 Minnesota victory. San Diego's .637 OPS is the worst in baseball, as are its 238 runs.
Edinson Volquez, Reds: Maybe another trip to the minors in order. It wasn't just his stats on Saturday -- five innings pitched, seven hits, four runs, two walks and eight strikeouts -- it was everything else. He had two errors, including one that led to a run, and a balk. In his last outing, he pitched well, but two baserunning blunders hurt the Reds' chances of winning. With Homer Bailey getting ready to return from the disabled list, Volquez could find himself back in Louisville soon.
Florida Marlins: Here's just about everything you need to know about the Florida Marlins right now -- the South Florida Sun Sentinel runs a feature after every Marlins game called "Marlins highlights." The first item Saturday's 7-4 loss was "Marlins wives beat Rays wives in softball." Yep, that's the highlight as the Marlins lost their ninth in a row and have as many wins in the month of June as their wives.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:14 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
If you missed it, Tuesday night Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made the best play of the year -- fielding Jason Bourgeois' dribbler with his bare hand on a straight sprint and flipping the ball to first baseman Joey Votto between his legs to get the speedy runner.
It was hands-down the best play I've seen this season. However, there's at least one person who doesn't agree with me -- Brandon Phillips.
From his Twitter (@DatDudeBP):
That other play was on April 12 in San Diego. On that play, he ranged right and barehanded the ball, throwing on to first to get Will Venable. Although there was a higher degree of difficulty for Tuesday's play, the play against the Padres came with a runner on third and kept the game tied in the eighth inning -- a game the Reds would win 8-2 in 11 innings.
Which do you think is better?
Either way, it shows why Phillips has two of these:
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Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:29 pm
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Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:13 pm
Venable is currently set to man an outfield corner -- likely right field -- in his first full season in the majors. The 28-year-old has a career .252/.325/.418 line, which isn't exactly a line that should be attached to a player leading off the game.
However, San Diego's options are limited. Of those that finished with a .325 or higher OBP last season for San Diego, two (Adrian Gonzalez and Yorvit Torrealba) are gone while Chase Headley's .327 OBP doesn't exactly vault him ahead of Venable.
However, some newcomers do have a chance to supplant Venable up top the order. Cameron Maybin will still be considered along with fellow newcomers Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson, as manager Bud Black mentioned, according to MLB.com.
Maybin would be better served to bat in the lower half of the order until San Diego knows what it will get from the former top prospect, and Hudson's OBP was .338 last season. Better then Venable, but once you add in the 29 stolen bases versus Hudson's 10, Venable probably holds the edge there. The only newcomer with a real shot is Jason Bartlett. His OBP was just .324 last season, but holds a career .345 mark and swiped 30 bags back in 2009.
Granted, a lot of Bartlett's career mark is tied up in his career year of 2009, when he had a .389 OBP. But even without that season, Bartlett's right in the thick of it with Venable for the rights to the leadoff spot.
In the end, however, this isn't quite as important as one may think. The leadoff hitter leads off exactly once per game and there have been studies showing that the best-arranged lineup is only marginally different than what normally gets trotted out. And sometimes, the best-arranged lineup looks quite odd.
Take the Padres, for example. After plugging in their projected lineup through the Lineup Analysis tool using career averages, it's learned that the best leadoff hitter candidate for the Padres is Hudson, with Venable fifth and Bartlett ninth. Yeah, don't see that happening. But even the difference between the best and 30th best lineup is 0.09 runs per game different.
Oh, and the Padres used 135 different lineups last season with no settled leadoff hitter or No. 3/4 hitter... and yet the Pads came within a game of making the playoffs.
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:14 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 4:48 pm
The Padres have made one decision on their crowded outfield official, agreeing to a deal with Chris Denorfia, meaning they've unofficially made their decision on what their outfield will look like next season.
After acquiring Cameron Maybin from Florida last month, the team was left with four arbitration-eligible outfielders -- Denorfia, Ryan Ludwick, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston. The team has reportedly offered Ludwick arbitration and with Denorfia on board, it seems Gwynn and Hairston will be non-tendered before tomorrow night's deadline.
Denorfia has signed a one-year deal worth $800,000 for 2010, MLB.com's Corey Brock reports .
"That was one of the great things about getting the deal done now," Denorfia told Brock. "It took the uncertainty out of the winter for me. That's something I've never had. It was just really important to get this done as soon as possible."
Denorfia hit .271/.335/.433 with nine home runs and 36 RBI last season, stealing eight bases in 317 plate appearances. Denorfia will likely be the team's fourth outfielder.
That leaves a starting outfield with Ludwick in left, Maybin in center and Will Venable in right.
UPDATE: According to the North County Times , the team has indeed non-tendered Gwynn.
"I kind of had the feeling it could happen, especially after the trade," Gwynn told the paper. "But that's the business of the game. It was just bad timing as far as I had my best defensive season and my worst offensive season. It was bad timing not to hit."
-- C. Trent RosecransFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.