The Padres are off to a horrible start, so a housecleaning might be forthcoming. Who stays and who goes?
The San Diego Padres, perhaps predictably, have gotten off to a miserable start in 2012. Although expectations were not high coming into the season, almost nothing has gone right for the club. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, not to mention ongoing ownership/television deal issues (I live 15 minutes from Petco Park and cannot watch the team on TV in my home, which might qualify as “charmingly retro” if it weren't so annoying), the Padres are staring at their worst-case scenario only a month into the campaign.
Last week, Kevin Goldsteinsuggested that a “housecleaning in San Diego could be coming.” Reader pobothecat wondered what such a housecleaning might look like, and so did I.
Will Venable is entering his prime years, but his career numbers leave people guessing as to whether he is extremely overrated or underrated.
There is some sentiment in the analyst community that Padres outfielder Will Venable ranks among the most underrated players in baseball. The theory is that Petco Park stifles his offensive game, while Cameron Maybin's presence in center field pushes Venable to right field, depressing his value further.
Is this a fair assessment of Venable? Is he a miscast corner outfielder whose abilities aren't being maximized due to external factors? Or is he a gifted athlete whose baseball skills never developed as well as they might have if he'd committed to the sport earlier in life?
Rob McQuown wonders if there's a "Curse of the Value Picks", as Carlos Guillen makes the 3rd outfielder to hit the DL after being featured. Two new players join the list and risk the curse.
Carlos Gomez wasn't pushed off stage last week, despite being relegated to a platoon situation with Jim Edmonds. And anyone who “trusted the process” (or at least had a desperate “need for speed”) was rewarded with a useful .318/.423/.409 week with 3 steals and 6 runs scored. Of course, the historically epic beat down that the Brewers continued to put on the Pirates was responsible for these numbers being so fine in spite of Gomez being on the wrong side of a platoon, so he gets dropped this week along with Carlos Guillen, who fell prey to “Curse of the Value Picks” by hitting the DL shortly after being spotlighted.
Replacing los Dos Carlos, a couple platoon players join the list this week, Jeremy Hermida and Will Venable. Also noteworthy is the fact that Austin Jackson has not been featured here, as he has a .520 BABIP and 61% contact percentage (32 K in 83 AB/91 PA), suggesting he's soon to go off the precipice into a steep decline. He has a lot of job security, as he's a rangy center fielder on a team with old side outfielders and no other viable options for center field, but he's one of the best “sell high” candidates among outfielders now.
A system without much upside got some help in the 2006 draft, but it's still a long way away from making an impact on the big league club.
None Very Good Prospects
1. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b
2. Cesar Carillo, rhp Good Prospects
3. Cedric Hunter, cf
4. Matt Antonelli, 3b Average Prospects
5. Nick Hundley, c
6. Chase Headley, 3b
7. Paul McAnulty, 1b/3b/of
8. Will Venable, lf
9. Kyler Burke, rf
10. Chad Huffman, lf