Friday, May 15, 2009

Changes the Padres don't need to make.

Friday May 15, 2009

Changes the Padres don't need to make
and Ten Changes they DO need to make.


I keep reading alot of articles saying the Padres need to make drastic changes in their roster and to a certain extent those calls for changes are well placed. After all the Padres are in the midst of a 4-19 collapse with 11 straight losses on the road.

For all of you, including Tim Sullivan over at San Diego's rag they call a newspaper, who are stupid enough to want to replace Kevin Kouzmanoff in the starting 8 with Will Venable, keep in mind that Venable has more strike outs than hits as well this season, and that is at the AAA level.

In other words, Venable is NOT hitting any better than Kouzmanoff and you want to give him a regular starting job?

That is downright idiotic. At least we know what Kouzmanoff can do and we also know that Kouzmanoff is a slow starter who will probably end up around .270 for the season with around 20 home runs if the last two seasons are any indication.

I do believe the Padres need to make some changes, but throwing a #4 (at best) or #5 outfielder like Venable into a starting position is ludicrous.

As a FOURTH or FIFTH outfielder, Macias at least plays spectacular defense so the runs he takes away with his defense may compensate for his mediocre bat on a part time basis, but Venable is playing below average defensively in CF this season, so his defense would not.

Venable is not good defensively in CF as either Gerut or Hairston. Last year it graded out with Gerut at +5.8 UZR, Hairston +3.3 and Venable +2.4. At a +9.5 career UZR, Gerut is one of the better defensive CF in the game.

And how long will it take Headley to begin to play defense at 3B at the level Kouzmanoff is currently playing? How many games will be lost until he does. 1, 2, more? Remember, Headley has not regularly played the position since 2007 and he does not even take gound balls at the position in practice currently.

How many of you really believe, based on 44 abs against RHP this season, that Hairston should be a everyday starter? Especially given how poorly he has done of 650+ career at bats against RHP. Hairston's BA against RHP since May 1st of .242 has been much closer to his career average of .234/.294/.414/.709 and, as they always do, will continue to regress towards the mean as the season continues. ( VS RHP in 2008 - .224/.309/.399/.708)

Hairston is good against LHP. Always has been (career - .287/.337/.549/.886, 2008 - .280/.316/.580/.896) and this season he has been a monster (.381/.447/.762/1.209). So platoon Hairston at ALL of the outfield positions against LHP if you want, but don't give him ANY position as an everyday starter. We have seen that dog, and it don't hunt.

And if you trade away Peavy now, what is that saying to Gonzalez and the players you do want to sign long term about the teams commitment to winning? In my opinion it kills any chance of getting Gonzalez signed to an extension. Would you sign a contract knowing the team is not going to be any better than it is right now for several years to come?

So those are changes the Padres absolutely should not make.

So what changes do I think the Padres need to make?

#1 Fire Bud Black - It is Black's job to get these guys to relax and perform and he has failed. No, he has not been given a big league squad and there have been a lot of injuries, but this team is still better than the 4-19 record they have in their last 23 games.

#2 DFA Duaner Sanchez, and cut Luis Perdomo. Bring up Greg Burke and Even Scribner or Gabe DeHoyos to replace them and go with just 12 relievers. My last post was dedicated to Sanchez so I am not going to rehash that. Perdomo has simply not shown he has what it takes, yet. He may in a couple of years, but taking a Rule V guy that did not dominate at the lower levels is risky, and this gamble did not pay off.

#3 Get Kyle Blanks ready to play LF. The Padres are already starting to get him some playing time in LF and once he is able to adjust to AAA pitching (he has hit just .200 over his past 10 games), he should also have had a chance to start 40 or 50 games in LF and be ready to make the jump later in the season.

#4 Get Headley some time at 3B. As I mentioned above, Headley has not played the position reguarly since 2007 and is not taking ground balls at 3B now. Sit Kouzmanoff against some RHP that have been historically bad matchups for him and let Headley get a few starts at 3B. By the time Blanks is ready to be called up, Headley will have been able to play at least 5 or 6 games at 3B and have taken grounders in practive for a couple of months.

#5 Play Jody Gerut. Gerut is a rhythm hitter and needs at bats daily to hit well. Gerut and Hairston is a great platoon by the numbers, but Gerut struggles against all pitching when he isn't out there daily. Gerut is also a better fielder than Hairston and has good power. As Tampa showed last season and several clubs are showing this season, good defense that takes away runs is as important to winning as bats that add runs. This is especially true in Petco, where runs are at a premium.

#6 Start looking for new trainer and strength coach. While some of the injuries cannot be blamed wholy on them, their job is to condition the athletes on the Padres to minimize injuries, and given the fact that the Padres have been consistently among the top 5 in player days on the DL each of the past 8 seasons and are on pace to break 1100 player days on the DL this season, they are failing miserably.

The Padres are the only team to have over 880 player days on the DL in the last 10 years and they have done it 5 times including the only 2 seasons over 1000 player days on the dl since they began keeping records of this stuff. REgardless of whether the players or anyone else says they like the trainers hee, their results stink.

#7 Figure out how to turn Kouzmanoff's bat around. This guy hit everywhere he went before the Padres started tinkering with his swing. Maybe it is the Padres approach and not Kouzmanoff that is to blame here. SO Lefebvre do your job and figure it out. You can't trade him while he is hitting .229 and sending him down does no good since Headley would take a month or more to readjust to third base.

So get Kouzmanoff hitting so you CAN trade him for help at SS or for the pitching staff when Blanks is ready to come up and take over LF.

#8 Put Brian Giles back into the front of the rotation and sit him down and say, "Brian, we know you are having problems off the field. It is time to focus on doing your job and let baseball take your mind off those things. SO get out their and do what you do best, hit the damn ball."

If you want to rest him, send Hairston or Gerut or even Macias out there against a few lefties since Giles has hit just .255 off LHP over the past 3 seasons and just .111 this season.

#9 Trade for a decent everyday SS. Cabrera did well while he was here but it was 13 abs and he isn't expected back until Late June at the earliest. Luis Rodriguez is not the answer when he comes back. He is a below average defender and he is a slightly above replacement level hitter. He could be a good platoon player, but playing everyday seems to be beyond his abilities.

So who can the Padres trade for? They are not going to get a top level prospect like Alcides Escobar or Yunel Esobar or even Jason Donald, but maybe a player like Argenis Diaz or Reid Brignac who is blocked by a ML player and a top prospect will be available for a package of prospects.

#10 All Padres fans need to remember 4 words -

REGRESSION TOWARDS THE MEAN!

What does that mean? It means that players will regress towards their career averages as the season progresses unless there is some underlying problem like an injury. So put them out there and let them play their way out of their slumps. Eventually they will start hitting enough ABOVE their career averages to end up near their career averages when the season is over. In other words there will be a hot streak to average out a slump at some point if you just shut up and let them play.

I have had my say. Now What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. can't say i disagree with anything you said.

    ReplyDelete