I Am Done With Volquez

The Padres made a bit of a statement this week, as they swept the Dodgers. The statement wasn’t that this team was going to make a playoff run, but it was more of a “hey we aren’t as bad as we looked the first two weeks.”

The Friars hope to keep the good vibes going, as they cruise into San Francisco this weekend to take on the defending champs. The team will turn the ball over to their “ace” Edinson Volquez, in an attempt to give the Padres a 4-game winning streak.

petco was average at best last year, going 11-11, with a 4.14 ERA. He also led the National League in walks and often failed to work late into games, chiefly because of his pitch count. At times, he displays electric stuff, but not enough consistency for my taste.

In 2013, Volquez has been horrid, losing all three of his starts, while pitching to a 11.68 ERA. While it is a very small sample size, Volquez has not looked sharp at all — especially for a team that is depending on him to be an ace.

He has given the Padres just 13 innings over three starts which have taxed the bullpen. The Padres desperately need Volquez to develop into a reliable #1 starter. Personally, I don’t see it happen. Ace pitchers do not lead the league in walks. Volquez is nothing more than just a tease.

The Padres would be wise to demote Volquez to a mop-up role, especially if he continues to struggle. The team has Andrew Cashner and Anthony Bass in the bullpen and both pitchers have potential to be very good, as they have shown in small samples in their careers. For a team that does not look to contend, the Padres need to give young guys the innings that Volquez is pissing down the drain. I have grown tired of Volquez.

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The Padres Used Thad Weber Like A Cheap Whore

The Padres have gotten off to an abysmal start this year, losing 10 of their first 12 games. The biggest reason for the horrid start has been the Padres starting pitching, or lack thereof. Going into Monday’s game vs. the Dodgers, Padres starters were averaging less than 5 innings a start, which is a recipe for disaster. 

It is disconcerting that the Padres needed to bring in bullpen reinforcements in week two of the season, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The Padres were forced to dip into the Triple-A roster and pluck an arm to eat innings. It also cost infielder Cody Ransom his job. 

The Padres designated infielder Cody Ransom(0-10 on the season) to give the Padres a 13th arm on the pen. Edinson Volquez got bombed in his last outing, lasting just 3.1 innings against the Rockies. The Padres brought in Weber to eat some innings.

Weber, who is 28, was claimed off of waivers last year when Detroit let him go. The Padres had him on the 40-man roster for a bit, but moved him off to clear space for other. All of the other 29 teams passed on him. Suffice to say, Thad Weber is just a guy.

Weber did his job — getting the Padres through 3.2 innings. He did give up a couple of runs, but his performance greatly superseded Volquez’s, who has pitched parts of nine big league seasons.

Weber allowed the Padres to save some of their arms and did get some outs, all while not completely embarrassing himself. His reward? An all-expenses(I think) back to Tucson, to languish in the minors. Weber never had a chance.

Thad_WeberThe Padres knew they needed an arm and Weber was most likely the freshest one available. The organization had no intention of having Weber stick around through Saturday. The plan was to use him and dispose of him. Kind of like a whore. He came, he pitched, he was escorted out. Dude probably never had a chance to unpack his luggage. If he was smart, he probably packed an outfit in a paper bag. Sometimes baseball can be a cruel game. The Padres were a heartless pimp, Thad Weber the low-class whore. 

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The Carlos Quentin Situation

It has been a few days since all of the Padres vs. Dodgers drama has cleared. For one thing, it actually got people talking about Padres baseball, albeit, due to the fact that Carlos Quentin broke the collarbone of Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke.

The dust has settled and Carlos Quentin will be sitting out the next eight games, including the three-game series in Los Angeles that starts Monday. It’s too bad, as the series would be must-watch television, mainly to see if the bad blood between the two organizations would spill over. It still might, but it definitely loses some of the appeal without Quentin’s presence.

Carlos QuentinThere have been a myriad of opinions about the whole situation. Many have viewed Carlos Quentin as a coward and a thug. I disagree with those opinions. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reports that “Carlos Quentin should not be able to play until Greinke can pitch.” That view is laughable as well. Let’s paint the situation.

Carlos Quentin is a very good player. When he was healthy last year, he, along with Chase Headley and YasmaniGrandal gave the Padres a solid middle-of-the-order. He slugged over .500 and the Padres were significantly better when he played. 

Quentin has also had issues with Greinke, dating back to their days in the AL Central. Grienke has hit Quentin three times, in addition to throwing a 95 MPH around Quentin’s dome. The bad blood could be attributed to Quentin’s dominance of Grienke(3 HR’s in 31 plate appearances) and the fact that Greinke has also plunked Quentin three times. 

The tensions boiled over Tuesday night in a brawl that took the baseball world by storm. I have been looking at the facts and reading everything that I can on the situation.

Personally, I don’t think Greinke was trying to hit Quentin in this particular situation. The Dodgers were nursing a one-run lead in the middle innings and Quentin was hit on a 3-2 count. If Greinke really wanted to drill Quentin, there were better opportunities to do so.

Also, I am a Greinke fan and I know a great deal about him. Greinke is a personal hero, as he has battled many of the same demons with anxiety and depression that I have. I also know that he is extremely honest in interviews. Greinke was given the forum to tell the world that he drilled him on purpose and he chose not to do so. I believe him.

I also see things from Quentin’s perspective. Anytime a pitcher throws around your head, it is intensely scary. A high-90’s fastball to the dome could potentially end a career. It is also apparent that the two men just do not like each other.

Is Quentin’s 8-game suspension fair? Absolutely. Quentin simply needs to keep his cool in this situation. The Padres desperately need his bat in the lineup. He simply needs to walk down to first and keep playing. Conversely, there is an unwritten rule in baseball — where a player simply cannot allow an opponent to “show them up.” Greinke ran his mouth and Quentin reacted.

It is also absurd to think that Quentin intentionally injured Greinke. Quentin charged the mound and rushed Greinke like a pass rusher in the NFL. The end result was a broken collarbone by Greinke. Quentin should not be blamed for a freak injury — he simply cannot control the fact that Greinke is made of glass. It is an unfortunate, albeit entertaining incident.

I think that there should be some form of discipline for Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp. He confronted Quentin in the parking lot and the two had words. It was entertaining to see Kemp cower in fear when Padres pitcher Clayton Richard got in his face. Kemp’s actions were much less impulse and much more premeditated. He should have been suspended for a game or two and fined.

Quentin will miss this series in Los Angeles that starts on Monday, but future matchups between the two squads will be very entertaining.

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Padres Swept Again…

Is this some kind of sick joke? Are the Padres really this bad? The early season answer is yes.

In fact, the Padres found a variety of ways to lose. Their bullpen coughed up a lead in game one of the series. Edinson Volquez got destroyed in game two and the Padres simply could not generate any offense in the series finale. Three losses, all very different.

Clayton RichardSunday’s game resembled a game we have all seen at Petco Park a thousand times. The Padres and Rockies were getting strong efforts from their starting pitches and it would be easy to assume that the first team that scored would win the game. The Rockies did.

Clayton Richard was solid, as the Padres badly needed a good effort from the rotation. Richard pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, to go with four walks.

The Rockies grabbed the lead in the 7th inning when pinch-hitter Todd Helton slammed a Dale Thayer pitch into the right field seats. Naturally, it was Helton’s first of the year and it gave the Rockies a lead that they would not relinquish.

The Padres actually put up a threat in the 9th inning, when Everth Cabrera and Yonder Alonso led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Then for some reason, Bud Black has Jesus Guzman sacrifice the runners up into scoring position, when the Padres were down by two runs. Jedd Gyorko drove in the Padres only run with a sacrifice fly and the Padres lost their fifth straight contest, by a score of 2-1.

The Padres will travel to Los Angeles, with a pathetic record of 2-10.



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Padres Pounded On Opening Day 11-2 By The Mets

Hey, at least it only counts for one loss in the standings.

The Padres suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of the Mets, 11-2, on Opening Day for both clubs.

The Padres were never really in the game, as the Mets opened up a 2-0 lead in the second. The Mets took advantage of an erratic Edinson Volquez, as he allowed 9 baserunners(3 walks) in just three innings of work. Volquez also allowed an RBI single to Mets starting pitcher Jonathan Niese.

The Mets put the game away in the 7th inning, when Colin Cowgill hit a grand slam off of Padres reliever Brad Brach. Brach had a miserable day as well, allowing 4 earned runs, while only recording two outs.

Jedd GyorkoThe Padres got single runs in the 3rd and 6th innings — via a Carlos Quentin RBI single and a solo HR by Yonder Alonso. Alonso did not hit his first homer until May 12th last year, if you are looking for a silver lining on an ugly day. 

The Padres will play game two tomorrow, at 4:10PM PST.

WP: Jonathan Niese (1-0, 2.70 ERA).

LP: Edinson Volquez (0-1, 18.00 ERA).

Notable: Jedd Gyorko, 1-3(ML Debut), Carlos Quentin, 1-2, RBI.

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2013 Padres Season Preview

Thank you, baseball gods, as another baseball season is finally upon us! Opening Day is here and I am full of the baseball goodness. The Padres open up the season in New York, where they will battle the Mets. Most people do not expect the Padres to be very good. Truth be told, they probably won’t be — but there is reason for optimism.

In the first few months of 2012, the Padres were pathetic. As a Padre fan, I have seen my share of crappy baseball, but the first two months were the worst. The Padres went into the nursing home and started both Jeff Suppan and Kip Wells on the mound. The injuries were mind-boggling. Essentially, everything that could go wrong, went wrong and the Padres look poised to be picking after the Astros in the 2013 draft.

HeadleyHowever, the Padres went 49-37 after June and looked like a team on the rise. They hit well and got an MVP-type season from Chase Headley. Carlos Quentin was tremendous(when healthy) and Yasmani Grandal emerged as a potential All-Star.

Some of the momentum was dampered with Headley’s trip to the DL, Quentin’s glass knee and Grandal’s love affair with testosterone. Call me crazy, but the Padres could be pretty decent. Let’s breakdown the roster:

Rotation: Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, Eric Stults, Jason Marquis, Tyson Ross: Personally this rotation is not that bad, however no one here is better than a #4, in my opinion. Volquez walks too many, Richard gives up too many hits and Jason Marquis is..well Jason Marquis. Eventually, the rotation will feature Robbie Erlin and Andrew Cashner. Donn Roach could also make an appearance. Also, Cory Luebke should be back at some point. In a perfect world, Volquez and Richard are trade bait. Grade: C

Lineup: Everth Cabrera is slated to be your leadoff hitter. I am not convinced this is a good move, but the Padres have little recourse. He did have a solid spring, but put up a .324 OBP in 2012. That simply won’t get it done. He does bring excitement on the bases, as he led the NL in steals last year. The Padres will have Will Denorfia or Chris Venable(whichever you prefer) in the #2 hole.

The heart of the order will be bandaged initially, but should be solid with the likes of Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso. Jedd Gyorko will be in there with Cameron Maybin. I think Gyorko will win Rookie of the Year in the National League. I see him with 15 homers and 75 RBI’s. Those type of numbers would make the Padres a whole lot deeper. Grade: C

Bullpen: I really like the pen. Huston Street was unbelievable last year and Luke Gregerson is one of the best setup men in the business. Keep your eyes on Brad Brach as well — I believe he is poised for a breakout season. Grade: B+

Bench: The Padres will have a solid bench, with plenty of options. Jesus Guzman has a solid bat, Alexi Amarista has speed and versatilety and Mark Kotsay can still contribute. Grade: B

5 bold predictions:

1. Yonder Alonso enjoys a great campaign. He hits .280, with 20 homers, 85 RBI’s and 40 doubles.

2. Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Jesus Guzman are moved by the deadline.

3. Yasmani Grandal spends time in the minors, even after being reinstated from his suspension.

4. Andrew Cashner ends 2013 as the Padres best starting pitcher.

5. Chase Headley will not be extended.

Overall, the Padres will be lucky to finish at .500. However, this team does have some interesting young players to watch. Prediction: 78-84, 4th in the NL West.

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Padres Release Several Minor Leaguers

I do not know about you, but checking out the minor league transactions that Matt Eddy of Baseball America posts each week is a must-read. It is a great resource to see what the Padres are doing with their minor league rosters. This week, the Padres released several minor leaguers. Here are a few that caught my eye.:

Kyung-Min Na: Na, an outfielder from Korea, was acquired in the Anthony Rizzo/Andrew Cashner swap last year. He played for three different levels and put up a pathetic triple-slash line of .155/.227/.212. He has good speed, but does not seem like much of a hitter at all.

Erik_HamrenErik Hamren: Here is a name that should be, at the very least, vaguely familiar to Padres fans. Hamren pitched in 14 games for the 2011 Padres, posting a 4.38 ERA. Last year, was 2-6, with a 3.77 ERA, with San Antonio and Tucson.

Goose Kallunki: Hey, the guy has an awesome name, what can I say? Kallunki was a 27th round pick last year, out of Utah Valley State. Kallunki, a first baseman, hit .254 in 53 games with Eugene in 2o12.

The full list can be seen here.

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