Thursday, March 17, 2005

 

2005 Season Preview: San Diego Padres

How can you pick the Padres for second place with a straight face Marc? Seriously? Well, I saw Bonds could only play part time in April, and I think the gap for second place, depending on how well the Padres come out of the gate, could be too big for the Giants to close. I am not saying it is because the Padres are that much better than San Fran, it is just that I feel they are close enough to equal that a lead created in April could stick. The Giants have a history of playing poorly without Bonds in the lineup recently, and Moises Alou isn't even Moises Alou anymore, nevermind Barry Bonds.

Miguel Asencio, SP: He won't be in the rotation. And if he is, then something has gone seriously wrong in San Diego.

Andy Ashby, SP: Signed to a minor league deal, San Diego will see how things go in spring training before making any decisions regarding this comeback-not-quite-a-kid.

Geoff Blum, 3B: After trading Ramon Vazquez to Boston, San Diego needed some more infield depth. Is Blum the answer? ...No.

Robert Fick, OF: I don't understand the Fick signing, mostly because they already have Xavier Nady in the fourth outfielder role and he is better than Fick. Much, much better than Fick.

Chris Hammond, RP: This should help the bullpen out some. His 2004 season in Oakland went a lot better than his 2003 season in NY, where he was criticized daily for not being the best reliever ever.

Dennys Reyes, SP: I think Kevin Towers and Allard Baird of Kansas City developed some sort of relationship this offseason, since they made a trade and Towers signed up two of Baird's starting pitchers he cut loose. Too bad they weren't getting along like this when Beltran was available last year, huh?

Rudy Seanez, RP: Tiny contract, pretty good numbers last season. Nice pickup by the Padres to fortify the bullpen if he pans out again.

Steve Sparks, SP/RP: Will fight with Darrell May for the 5th spot in the rotation, even though I think May is going to get it. You know what is pretty funny? I saw an article that said May will get the job based on "his experience". Sparks has been a full time pitcher since 1995; May started in 1995 as well, but didn't pitch anything close to regularly until 1997, and that was as a reliever. Then he was out of the majors from 1998 until 2002. Yes...experience. ANTI-KNUCKLEBALLING IS WHAT IT IS...sorry for the outburst.

Mark Sweeney, OF: Mark Sweeney will hopefully beat out Robert Fick for a backup OF roster spot, and at some point maybe he or Xavier Nady can replace Ryan Klesko as an outfielder for the sake of this Padres team. .266/.377/.508 in only 177 at-bats...someone start this poor man.

Woody Williams, SP: A lot of people think nothing of this deal, but I think he should be able to give them what David Wells did last year, maybe with a higher ERA. Then again, Petco is considered a severe pitcher's park, so we'll see.

Eric Young, Utility: Eric Young is useful to have around since he can play effectively for short stretches of time anywhere in the field except catcher. He has made a pretty decent career for himself if you take the time to check out his numbers.

Acquired Dave Roberts for Jay Payton, Ramon Vazquez, and David Pauley. Payton's bat was nonexistent in Petco last year, so he won't be missed too much. Vazquz is a good utility guy to have, but the signing of Eric Young weakens the sting of that loss. Roberts will give this team a viable leadoff hitter, rather than using Sean Burroughs because they have to.

Acquired Darrell May and Ryan Bukvich for Dennis Tankersely and Terrence Long. Darrell May pitched very well in 2003 when Kauffman was a hitter's paradise, and poorly in 2004 when it was a pitcher's park...wait what? I would rather have Tankerseley, but the Padres probably felt he wouldn't develop here. Bukvich did well in the 9 games he pitched in for KC last year. Terrence Long won't be missed.

1) Dave Roberts
2) Khalil Greene
3) Mark Loretta
4) Brian Giles
5) Phil Nevin
6) Ryan Klesko
7) Ramon Hernandez
8) Sean Burroughs

This lineup looks better than last years, since Nevin is around, Klesko can't possibly be as bad as before, Dave Roberts instead of Jay Payton, and Khalil Greene should improve some offensively. Expect some decline from Brian Giles and Mark Loretta, but hopefully for the Padres they can continue to contribute enough.

1) Jake Peavy
2) Woody Williams
3) Brian Lawrence
4) Adam Eaton
5) Darrell May

"Hi Dave Littlefield, its Kevin Towers of San Diego. Remember that trade we did a few years back, when we gave you Oliver Perez and Jason Bay for Brian Giles...yeah, can we redo that please? I just realized my team is the one who needs the two young kids and your the one who needs Brian Giles to put people in the seats. Yeah...if we had Perez and Peavy we could win two Cy Young awards per year, because they would change the rules just for us...I understand this is not normal procedure...yes I understand your team would then consist simply of the Wilson boys...how about I just send you another second base prospect or plain old outfielder to add to your growing list of "prospects"...now listen here, Brian Giles is still a fine player, and I love having him on my team...but I miss my darling Oliver. Please send him home...FINE! Keep him and stay in last place!!!" *click*.

Jake Peavy is quite possibly the best pitcher in the National League, right up there with Mark Prior and Oliver Perez. The Padres almost had 2 of the 3 best pitchers in the league in their rotation for close to minimum salaries. Woody Williams should do a good David Wells impression this year, and Brian Lawrence should do at least league average. I'm still waiting for Adam Eaton to turn some kind of corner and pitch effectively, and Darrell May can't possibly be as bad as he was in 2004. Maybe not as good as 2003 either, but seriously, 2004 was scary. So the rotation has the potential to be pretty good, but nothing amazing. Peavy carries the load on his shoulders, and everyone else is just there to help lift it slightly.

Trevor Hoffman is pretty good out of the pen; he isn't the Hoffman of the 90's, but he's better than what a lot of teams have. Otsuka, Seanez, Hammond, and Linebrink form a great bullpen core, so the Padres should have no issues holding onto leads as long as they can stay healthy. If Hoffman gets injured, look for Otsuka to take the closer role, all you fantasy fans out there.

Overall, I feel this team is capable of coming in second place, but not guaranteed. Both the Padres and the Giants have a lot of question marks that need to be answered to determine who finishes in second. The Padres may be able to snatch the Wild Card as well, depending on how together the Phillies may be, or if the Cubs can overcome the injury bug that is Dusty Baker.

Comments:
i still have nightmares of rudy seanez coming out of the bullpen...2005 david wells compared to woody williams, ill take woody, had a solid season last year with the cards and there are far fewer injury questions...i dont think it is too much of a stretch to say payton/roberts is a wash..i am not sure why but i am enamored by the san diego padres, i look at their line up and rotation and wonder when their current core will make a playoff run, roberts and greene are speedy table setters who can get on base and loretta, giles, nevin brings me to the brink of salivation even the bottom third can produce...the fathers have a solid 1-4 rotation and have a chance at being one of the better in baseball peavy should be ready to step up this season as the ace of the staff...at somepoint over the horizon i expect playoff appearances from the padres-jt
 
They just better do it soon, because part of this core is getting old fast.
 
I was searching for batting practice chicago cubs and found your site.

I'm a huge Cub fan and I have been looking for other sites about batting practice chicago cubs

Dave
 
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