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redsmetz
05-15-2009, 03:41 PM
A particular bleak column from one time Cincinnati writer, Tim Sullivan. I didn't know he'd moved down to San Diego. Last I heard, he was with the Sacramento Bee, I thought. Anyway, he's pretty blunt with his suggestions for the Padres.


A seven-step program to improve the Padres

With storm clouds brewing early in the season, the team needs to make some changes

By Tim Sullivan, Union-Tribune Columnist
Thursday, May 14, 2009

The problem is that there are too many problems. You can't fix the Padres by firing the manager or rearranging the lineup or shaking up the bullpen or awaiting the bugle call that signals the cavalry is coming.

No, this is a Triple-A club masquerading in the major leagues, a roster replete with castoffs and kids; some of them marginal prospects, some of them simply space-fillers, almost all of them inadequate.

The best pitcher, Jake Peavy, is too costly to keep. The best hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, is lucky he ever sees a strike. The most appealing move, then, would be to borrow one from Oliver Cromwell's playbook.

“You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately,” Cromwell said in dissolving England's Rump Parliament in 1653. “Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Yet as appropriate as Cromwell's wrath feels – Thursday's 11-3 thumping in Chicago completed an 0-6 road trip and dropped the Friars into a last-place tie with Arizona – so bold a stroke is probably impractical with 127 games to go in the regular season.

Since General Manager Kevin Towers is promising action, here follows a seven-step program worth pursuing. These are baby steps, to be sure – at some point, new CEO Jeff Moorad is going to have to make a call on Towers and his lieutenants – but even small changes can cause improvement when the status quo stinks.

STEP 1: Send Kevin Kouzmanoff somewhere else.
With more strikeouts (31) than hits (27) and only one home run, the Padres' third baseman is in need of either a change of scene, a technical adjustment or a new line of work.

Though Kouzmanoff hit 23 home runs last year, his on-base percentage was a woeful .299, and he's averaged more than six strikeouts for every walk over his past 750 at-bats. He still has a minor league option remaining, however, and could therefore be demoted without risk of a waiver claim.
Perhaps Kouzmanoff can find his stroke and renew his confidence against Triple-A pitching. If not, creating a vacancy at third base is also desirable.

STEP 2: Bring Chase Headley back where he belongs.
Headley has been a serviceable left fielder – he's made one error in 30 games this season – but he's been playing out there and out of position because he's been blocked by Kouzmanoff.

Headley is a third baseman two years younger than Kouzmanoff with comparable power, slightly better plate discipline and superior speed. Overall, he's an upgrade.

STEP 3: Add outfielder, mix gently.
If Headley returns to third base, the roster will need rebalancing. The conversion of slugging prospect Kyle Blanks from a first baseman to an outfielder has begun, but Thursday night's game in Oklahoma City was only Blanks' second outfield start of the season. He could benefit, too, from another coat of polish at the plate.

“Right now, he's still learning to hit at this level,” said Rich Burk, Portland's radio broadcaster. “Until he starts laying off the off-speed pitches that aren't strikes ... anybody with off-speed stuff will fool him.”
Though their statistics would argue otherwise, Burk believes Will Venable (.256, five home runs, 16 RBI) may be further along than Blanks (.278, eight HR, 23 RBI). Venable also plays center field, another selling point.

STEP 4: A farewell to (ineffective) arms.
Though a bad day at Wrigley Field can skew anyone's statistics, relievers Luis Perdomo (5.84 earned-run average) and Duaner Sanchez (9.00 ERA) have done little to justify a longer look.

Both pitchers were picked up this spring after being released, as Towers attempted to rebuild his bullpen on the fly, and both have been bombed.
Despite Towers' proclivity for reclamation projects, several internal candidates deserve major league auditions. Portland relievers Greg Burke (3-0, 2.25 ERA, seven saves) and Mike Ekstrom (2-1, 3.22) have pitched effectively at the back end of the Beavers' bullpen. Double-A closer Evan Scribner (1.98) has struck out 16 and allowed only seven hits in 13 2/3 innings.

STEP 5: Swap quality for quantity.
The case for trading Jake Peavy has been made so often that it hardly bears repeating. Still, as the Padres fall further from contention, that case becomes increasingly compelling.

The Padres are a club with multiple flaws and limited financial flexibility. Keeping a single starting pitcher who could earn more than a quarter of the team's total player payroll through 2012 places too many eggs in one precarious basket.

Were Peavy to suffer a serious injury, the Padres would still be obligated to pay him at least $52 million after the 2009 season. Insurance might mitigate some of that, but it wouldn't enable the club to address its numerous needs.
Some contending clubs have high-end prospects and a few have the wherewithal to assume the payments on Peavy. If you can't afford to keep him, you have little choice but to trade him.

STEP 6: It couldn't hurt to ask.
Greg Maddux is officially retired, but how much golf can a man play? If the Padres trade Peavy, they're going to need to find an arm to absorb some of his workload. Maddux's 194 innings last season exceeded the total of any Padres'pitcher.

STEP 7: Retrench, then reinvest.
During an April 29 online chat, Jeff Moorad was asked about negotiating a long-term contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez in 2010.
“Why wait until 2010?” Moorad replied.

Good answer. The time to extend Gonzalez's deal may be sooner rather than later. Baseball's 2009 home run leader is under Padres' control through 2011, but each day he gets closer to free agency is a day the club's exclusive negotiating window diminishes.

Gonzalez is a local guy whose presence strengthens the Padres' ties to the Mexican community, but he's not oblivious to his options or the Home Team's obstacles.

“You don't want to commit to an organization until you know what the goals are,” said John Boggs, Gonzalez's agent. “Adrian's No. 1 priority is to win. Obviously, he wants to win in San Diego. But if we're going to go down (that) road and, heck, Jake Peavy is too rich for their blood, we're not going to take a thrashing.”

Step 8 is to see if Jeff Moorad has the money to underwrite his mouth.

CaiGuy
05-15-2009, 03:51 PM
He lost me here:


STEP 5: Swap quality for quantity.

LoganBuck
05-15-2009, 04:07 PM
Send them Alex Gonzalez. Hey they need a shortstop.

nate
05-15-2009, 04:13 PM
Hot or not?

Padres get: EE, Chris Dickerson, Bronson Arroyo

Reds get: Jake Peavy.

Pads get some youth and innings. Reds get Jake Peavy.

*BaseClogger*
05-15-2009, 04:16 PM
Hot or not?

Padres get: EE, Chris Dickerson, Bronson Arroyo

Reds get: Jake Peavy.

Pads get some youth and innings. Reds get Jake Peavy.

I would guess that isn't enough young talent for the Pads, considering what they had going for them in the offseason...

redsmetz
05-15-2009, 04:20 PM
He lost me here:

I think you have to take the statement with the entire explanation. I don't think he's talking about just getting any passel full of players, but rather finding the teams that have a plethora of talent who can shell out for Peavy.

Here's what he wrote:


The case for trading Jake Peavy has been made so often that it hardly bears repeating. Still, as the Padres fall further from contention, that case becomes increasingly compelling.

The Padres are a club with multiple flaws and limited financial flexibility. Keeping a single starting pitcher who could earn more than a quarter of the team's total player payroll through 2012 places too many eggs in one precarious basket.

Were Peavy to suffer a serious injury, the Padres would still be obligated to pay him at least $52 million after the 2009 season. Insurance might mitigate some of that, but it wouldn't enable the club to address its numerous needs.
Some contending clubs have high-end prospects and a few have the wherewithal to assume the payments on Peavy. If you can't afford to keep him, you have little choice but to trade him.

camisadelgolf
05-15-2009, 04:49 PM
Hot or not?

Padres get: EE, Chris Dickerson, Bronson Arroyo

Reds get: Jake Peavy.

Pads get some youth and innings. Reds get Jake Peavy.
That's nowhere near enough to get Peavy imo. I think the Padres don't want any part of Arroyo and his contract anyway.

Joseph
05-15-2009, 05:01 PM
Despite Towers' proclivity for reclamation projects

Do all teams feel like thats a true statement?

PuffyPig
05-15-2009, 05:06 PM
Send them Alex Gonzalez. Hey they need a shortstop.

So do we.

traderumor
05-15-2009, 05:07 PM
This series is one of those that history tells me the Padres take 2 out of 3. Reds have looked good for a week now, the Pads have been stinking. No one is hitting for SD, the Reds have been breaking out the bats. We have Harang and Volquez going in a pitcher's park against two pitchers struggling for the Pads.

Been following the game for 35+ years, and I will be ecsatic if we get out of SD with 2 out of 3 given all the things going for us and seemingly nothing but the law of averages and losing streaks going for the Pads.

redsmetz
05-15-2009, 05:37 PM
This series is one of those that history tells me the Padres take 2 out of 3. Reds have looked good for a week now, the Pads have been stinking. No one is hitting for SD, the Reds have been breaking out the bats. We have Harang and Volquez going in a pitcher's park against two pitchers struggling for the Pads.

Been following the game for 35+ years, and I will be ecsatic if we get out of SD with 2 out of 3 given all the things going for us and seemingly nothing but the law of averages and losing streaks going for the Pads.

You're messing with our seriously good karma, TR. Lets not be sending bad vibrations out to San Diego...

traderumor
05-15-2009, 05:43 PM
You're messing with our seriously good karma, TR. Lets not be sending bad vibrations out to San Diego...Maybe they'll stay in the same hotel as Peyton Manning and all will be well.

remdog
05-16-2009, 07:33 AM
A particular bleak column from one time Cincinnati writer, Tim Sullivan. I didn't know he'd moved down to San Diego. Last I heard, he was with the Sacramento Bee, I thought.

Never with the Bee. From Sullivan's Bio: "Tim Sullivan came to San Diego from The Cincinnati Enquirer, where for 25 years he chronicled a wide range of subjects....."

Anyway, being close to SD, I wish the Pads were more competitive with the Dodgers. A few years ago, when the Pads had some talent, those games were fun.

It will be interesting to see how an agent turned owner, who (as was pointed out) has more mouth than money does now that he's on the other side of the negotiating table.

Rem

Chip R
05-16-2009, 09:23 AM
Step 8: Play the Reds more often. ;)

Sea Ray
05-16-2009, 09:59 AM
Hot or not?

Padres get: EE, Chris Dickerson, Bronson Arroyo

Reds get: Jake Peavy.

Pads get some youth and innings. Reds get Jake Peavy.

It can be argued that all three of these players have hit their peaks. Arroyo is probably past his. I'm sure they want some up and coming players for Peavy that at least have a few All Star games in their future

redsmetz
05-16-2009, 10:04 AM
Never with the Bee. From Sullivan's Bio: "Tim Sullivan came to San Diego from The Cincinnati Enquirer, where for 25 years he chronicled a wide range of subjects....."

I think I crossed wires with Mark Purdy who is now with the San Jose Mercury News. There's been a number of sports writers from the two Cincinnati papers who've made their way west.

tripleaaaron
05-16-2009, 12:10 PM
Hot or not?

Padres get: EE, Chris Dickerson, Bronson Arroyo

Reds get: Jake Peavy.

Pads get some youth and innings. Reds get Jake Peavy.

That trade doesn't make any sense for the Pads. They virtually get no money off the books while downgrading at SP and receive another 3B that is struggling. Dickerson is the only player that makes any sense at all and lets face it, he doesn't have all that much trade value. This offer goes against everything stated above.
The only way this scenario works is if we get another team (or two) involved and we would most likely still have to throw in a Bailey and a Stubbs.