Opening series Padre preview
Not many general managers get the second chance that A.J. Preller got. Preller went for it all in 2015 trading some incredible assets in an effort to compete in the NL West with the big boys. It went all for naught but the price he paid was a dear one.
He traded Yazmani Grandal, Jesse Hahn, Trea Turner, Max Fried, Mallex Smith, Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin, and Matt Wisler.
Receiving Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and Melvin Upton.
The team was horrible and Preller pivoted the next winter and tried to replenish the farm with someone’s else’s prospects. He was somewhat successful.
- He moved Kimbrel for several prospects, the key one being Manuel Margot who is now the Padre starting center fielder.
- Traded Yonder Alonso to the A’s and received Drew Pomeranz who would figure in a big trade the following summer.
- Traded James Shields to the White Sox for Fernando Tatis Junior
- Somehow was able to trade Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza
- Flipped Andrew Cashner to the Marlin for a broken Carter Capps
- Traded Matt Kemp to the Braves for Hector Olivera
The only player from the wild trading spree of the winter of 2015 is Wil Myers. Wil Myers is a fine player but he’s moved from CF to 1st base and as a first baseman he loses some value. So my main beef with Preller is that it would appear at this time that they completely misvalued Trea Turner. If you can’t properly value the best prospect in your system I wouldn’t be handing out a second chance but Preller got one. Instead of a dynamic shortstop just starting his career they have a good first baseman. Meh
Just imagine if Trea Turner was still with the Padres the NL West shortstops would be Seager, Story, Crawford, and Turner. Chris Owings would certainly be the outlier here.
On the plus side for Preller was that he was able to turn Drew Pomeranz into possibly the top pitching prospect in baseball in Anderson Espinoza. So I guess, he did deserve that second chance.
Now onto the 2017 Padres. This team will lose 100 games not only because the starting pitching is a bunch of bad retreads but because they will be playing in a very tough NL West.
The rotation looks like this:
Jhoulys Chacin (R) – Getting out of Colorado didn’t help him any. Maybe pitching at Petco will mask his skill set but he’s a fifth starter on a bad team, and on this team he’s their opening day starter. He was released by the Rockies and Indians in 2015.
Clayton Richard (L) – was released last summer by the Cubs. Someone with his BB/9 along with his K/9 ratio shouldn’t be pitching in a rotation.
Trevor Cahill (R) – released by the Braves in 2015. He has started four games in the last two years. The Cubs used him in relief last summer and he had some success. So naturally the Padres are going to take him out of the role he had success and make him a starter again where he’s been abysmal since 2012.
Jered Weaver (R) – Jered unlike the other pieces of the rotation has never been released. This will be the first team for Weaver to pitch for other than the team that drafted him. Weaver made 322 starts and won 150 games for the Angels since being the 12th pick of the 2004 MLB draft. Weaver was donezo in 2014, I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where he’s still pitching in July.
Luis Perdomo (R) – A rule five pick in Dec 2015, Perdomo had to stick on the Padres all year and he did that. Steep learning curve for the kid, I have little idea if he’s going to make it. His peripherals weren’t impressive, but he’s the best the Padres have.
That is the Padre rotation and they don’t really have reinforcements. Guys on the Dl are Christian Friedrich, Robbie Erlin, and Colin Rea. None of them are cavalry types.
What they do have are some sweet pitching prospects but they aren’t close. Espinoza is only 19, Cal Quantrill was just drafted last year and has to build his arm back up.
That is why 2017 is going to be tough on the Padres, they could put out the Yankee 1927 lineup and I don’t think they could win 81 games.
The lineup is young and should be fun to watch.
1st base – Wil Myers – He’s a nice 1st baseman, at this point at age 26 he’s not great, but he might become great. The one time 2013 ROY has plenty of talent, but it seems a waste at 1st base. His speed would be unique for his position if not for Paul Goldschmidt. In this century only two first baseman have stolen at least 25 bases and they both did it in 2016. Goldy hit 24 home runs and stole 32 bases. Myers hit 28 home runs and stole 28 bases.
2nd base – Yangervis Solarte – last year Solarte was the 3rd baseman but 1/2 way through spring training they decided to move Solarte to 2nd and Ryan Schimpf to 3rd base. Maybe that will help the defense. I have no idea, but I do know that Solarte can hit. If his bat played at 3rd, it will really play at 2nd. He’s the unique switch hitter that can actually hit from either side of the plate. In this day of swing and miss, Solarte is a contact hitter who struck out only sixty-three times in 443 plate appearances.
Shortstop – oh come on, this is like looking at the rotation. They had nobody so they went out and signed Erick Aybar. Like his ex-teammate, Aybar has been done since 2014. I might be over selling Chris Taylor or Charlie Culberson but I think either of them could do the same job that Erick Aybar is going to do. Heck Darnell Sweeney might even be able to give him a run for his money. This is the weak spot in the lineup, and they don’t have any reinforcements in the system to help them out.
3rd Base – one of last year’s biggest surprises, Ryan Schimpf will be the 3rd baseman after beating out Corey Spangenberg. Schimpf hit 20 home runs last year in only 330 plate appearances. At age 28. In his first major league season. He also struck out 105 times and walked 42 times. Doing the math Schimpf had 42 XBA, 105 strikeouts, and 42 walks in 330 PA. He had only 18 singles. Just in case you were skimming he had 18 singles and 20 home runs. He had 18 singles and 17 doubles. Yeah, he’s unique.
Catcher – Austin Hedges was a highly regarded receiver who didn’t have much of a hit tool. That may have changed in 2016 as he tore up El Paso and posted a .951 OPS at age 23. Whatever he does it has to be better than the putrid season that Derek Norris put up in 2016 (.583 OPS).
Right Field – Anyone who follows the Dodgers might remember what Hunter Renfroe did last September. The highly regarded outfield prospect drove in 11 runs with three home runs including a mammoth shot on Sept 27 & Sept 28th leading the Padres to two victories. Hunter should be fun to watch
Center Field – Manual Margot – The Padre top prospect will be playing CF and showing off his speed/power combination.
Left Field – was supposed to be Alex Dickerson but he’s hurt so the speedy Travis Jankowski gets the nod. His only real asset would appear to be breathtaking speed, and it might be hard to get a ball in between Margot and Jankowski but it shouldn’t be hard for pitchers to get a ball past him. Jankowski struck out 100 times while hitting only 2 home runs. Ugh
Hey the lineup is young and fun. They have some real prospects with starting gigs in Margot/Renfroe. Real veteran bats in Myers and Solarte. And Schimpf might be the greatest player to watch in all of baseball. There should be a drinking game involving his at-bats.
The bench is thin. When Alex Dickerson gets healthy they will have a good fourth outfielder. Luis Sardinas is their utility infielder. Meh
The bullpen could be solid. Brandon Maurer has the stuff to be a quality closer, and if he fails they can hand the gig off to Carter Capps who is back after missing a year so he can tap dance on the mound once again. Brad Hand is a quality left-handed setup man. Jose Torres made the team and is still a bit of an unknown at this point.
And then we have Christian Bethancourt the Padre answer to Kenley Jansen. Just last year Bethancourt was the Padre catcher 41 times but this winter he converted to a relief pitcher. Unlike Jansen, he’s doing it at the major league level. Woo wee. How fun.
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