Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I’m Baaaaack

I’m Baaaaack

My last couple of posts to this blog were in mid-2012:
(Got a LOT of flack for this post, but EVERYTHING I wrote turned out to be right on the money. Can I say I told you so?)
(I blew the rest of the NL West and hit my Padres squarely on the nose)

Why I left

Earlier in that year, my new employers had asked me to defer from writing and commenting publicly about baseball and after ranting about Byrnes, I hung up my quill.
Caribe Beisbol Venezolano
For the 6th consecutive year, I’m spending my Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year covering the Winter Leagues and Serie Caribe. The constant travel, 204 days away living from a suitcase in the past 365, has started to take a toll on my body and my psyche.
So I’ve decided to retire from actively working in the game this coming spring and turn my attention to my family and to once again annoying Padres fans everywhere with the facts and the truth.

When I’ll Be Back Writing Again Consistently

I am under contract through March 2016, so I will likely not starting writing much about baseball other than an occasional rant about the Padres until then.
You may see a small amount of commentary about Serie Caribe and Padres Spring Training if I have some time and can get it vetted by my current employer. Mustn’t give up secrets you know.
I’m really looking forward to talking baseball through this blog and my Twitter account.
If there is anything you would like me to address, let me know in the comments below.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Padres GM Byrnes compounds mistakes by extending Quentin for 3 yrs/$30 million

Padres Josh Byrnes compounds earlier mistakes by signing LF Carlos Quentin to a 3 yr/$30 million extension

In the middle of Vicky Santo's stirring comments during the induction speech for her husband Ron here in Cooperstown a member of our front office leans over to me and says, "what is Byrnes thinking"? 

Earlier in the day my wife had pried my phone and tablet from my hands and handed me a camera and her grandfather's Cubs cap. "Its a day to be a fan" she said, so I had no idea what he was talking about.

I had to wait until I got back to the hotel last night to learn that Josh Byrnes had made his third critical mistake regarding Carlos Quentin.

Byrnes' Critical Mistakes

1st - He traded a young Quentin to the White Sox as GM of the Diamondbacks

2nd - He traded two very good prospects (Castro and Hernandez) to the White Sox for an older and injury prone Quentin as the new GM of the Padres

Now, to compound those two huge mistakes, Byrnes gives Carlos Quentin a 3 year $30 million extension with the San Diego Padres.

2013 - $9.5 million
2014 - $9.5 million
2015 - $8.0 million
$3 million buyout of $10 million 2016 option

For a low budget team expected to have a $60-70 million payroll in 2013, Byrnes gives a 3 year deal that will take up 15+ percent of the teams total payroll to:

You also have to remember that Quentin is more expensive than just his salary. Someone else has to play the 60 + games he will miss due to injuries each season and the 180 + innings per season he will be out of games because of his bad defense and you have to pay those players too.

Byrnes' Guarantees

Byrnes has guaranteed that for 60 or more games each of the next 3 seasons the Padres will wonder who will be playing in LF. (Quentin is hurt for 1/3 of each season)

Byrnes has guaranteed that the Padres will have one of, if not THE worst LF defense in the league for 2/3 of each of the next 3 seasons. (Quentin is hurt for 1/3 of each season)

Byrnes has also guaranteed that the Padres have no money to sign any real threats with the bat by tying up more than 15% of the payroll in one player. (You cant be a threat when you are on the DL 1/3 of each season and have to be removed in late innings of games for a defensive replacement.)

Byrnes has guaranteed that the Padres will be saddled with Quentin; an expensive, injury prone, poor hitting, defensive liability for the next 3 seasons because they gave him a full no-trade clause.

Carlos Quentin, Bust

Face it Padres fans, Quentin is a bust so far. He has hit just .217 with a .359 slg since a 6 game hot streak ended on 6/5. This after spending the first 2 full months of the season on the DL

At his current pace, IF he is able to play the rest of the season without a trip to the DL, Quentin will hit for a .232 batting average with 16-17 home runs. 

His defense ranks 25th in the league with a .982 fielding percentage and -2 DRS this season and is the worst in MLB since the start of the 2009 season. Even Jesus Guzman has been better in the outfield and that says volumes about Quentin's dearth of skills with the glove.

The question you must ask is what is a player worth that will play 100 games per season and hit .230-.240 with 16-18 home runs while playing horrible defense? 

Regardless of Byrnes attempt at justification for signing him, Quentin is not a threat with the bat and he is not protecting the other Padres players in the lineup because:

  • #1 he was on the DL the 1st 2 months of the season 
  • #2 he is not hitting for either average or power in the past month and a half.

Now, I understand that no other MLB team wants to give up good prospects for Quentin and with good reason (those enumerated above and fact that any team trading for him would not get a draft pick if he left in FA), but that is no reason for Byrnes to compound his mistakes by hamstringing the team with Quentin for 3 more seasons.

The sandwich pick the Padres would have received for making Quentin a qualifying offer in arbitration and then watching him walk in free agency is likely worth more and will be MUCH cheaper than 3 seasons of Quentin in a Padres uniform.

If you get the idea I don't like this signing you are right. I didn't like the trade that brought Quentin to the Padres in the first place and this just piles stupid on top of stupid.

The only good that may come of this is that the Padres are showing fans a willingness to hold onto players after years having to trade away good players because of payroll considerations during the Moores' divorce.

It may also mean they will be trading or non-tendering Will Venable, who will be eligible for arbitration for the 2nd time in 2013 and due a raise from his current $1.475 million even though his performance continues to lag far behind his potential. Too much money for a backup outfielder.

I have had my say, now what do you think about the Padres extending Carlos Quentin?


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Websoulsurfer Predictions for the NL West

My Predictions for the NL West  in 2012

Opening Day for the Padres is less than 18 hours away and here is my first post of the new season. Over the next few days I am going to give my predictions for won-loss records, division and wild card winners, award winners and even Padres players production.

Lets start with the won loss records and my pick to win the NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks -  93-69
Colorado Rockies - 87-75
San Francisco Giants - 87-75
Los Angeles Dodgers - 81-81
San Diego Padres - 76-86

The Reasoning:

The Arizona Diamondbacks combine a good young pitching staff with some great prospects ready at the top levels of their farm system with a good young position players.
  • Kennedy, Hudson, Collmenter, Cahill and Saunders as the starting 5 with Bauer ready 
  • Upton, Young, Kubel, Parra in the OF
  • Goldschmitt, Hill, Drew (eventually), Roberts across the IF with Montero behind the plate
Best in the division top to bottom.

The Colorado Rockies are my surprise pick. For one reason - veteran leadership. This team had the talent to win in 2011, but they fell apart under pressure. Tulo and Gonzales are two of the best young players in the league. Helton was hurt and he is a real quiet guy. Not the leader they needed.

In the offseason they added three guys that can not only get the job done, they are great clubhouse guys. Now they have Jamie Moyer, the ageless wonder, out there in the starting rotation to provide an example of what it takes for the pitching staff. They also added Scutaro & Cuddyer to provide the example for the position players.

I still don't think they have enough to win the division, but they will surprise alot of people. Think Padres of 2010.

The San Francisco Giants do not have enough offense or enough depth to compete for the division title. Yes, they have an outstanding top end to their starting pitching corp with The Freak, Cain and Bumgarner. After that it drops off precipitously to Zito and ???. They dont even know who will step up enough to fill the #5 slot.

Like the starting pitching, the offense is great at the top with The Panda and Posey, but falls off quickly after those two with no one in the wings to fill spots in the batting order when injuries strike.
  • Pagan, Cabrera, Huff, Schierholtz across the OF. 
  • Bolt, Burris, Crawford, Sandoval across the infield with Posey behind the plate part time. Looks like he will get time at 1B this season. 
Just not enough to win in a consistently tough NL West.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a one trick pony. They have 3 great players and 21 scrubs on their roster. Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw are good enough to keep them out of the cellar, but not much more.

Their new ownership group has deep pockets, but they have invested 2.15 BILLION so far in the team and have another 350-500 million still to invest in the ballpark renovations.This team will get worse before it gets better.

The San Diego Padres are an extremely young team that the front office tried to graft in a couple of veterans that just dont fit.

In Stauffer, Volquez, Luebke, Richard, Moseley. (I know Stauffer is not starting opening day, but he is the Padres number 1) the Padres have a good young pitching staff with a very good young prospect in the pen (Bass) and at least 4 pitchers within a year of making the staff. Kelly, Weiland, Erlin and Sampson will be ready soon and will slot somewhere in the middle of that rotation - #2 to #4.

Their pen was totally made over in the last year with Street, Cashner and Owings taking the place of Bell, Adams and LeBlanc. i believe the pen will be just as strong with more depth since Thatcher is healthy, 2 members of that pen from last season, Spence and Hamren, will be in the minors this season and two others with huge talent, Brach and Boxberger, will start the year in AAA.
  • Guzman, Maybin, Denorfia, Venable across the OF. Quentin and Blanks will also play PT in the OF. Quentin because of current injuries, Blanks because of past injuries.
  • Alonso, Hudson, Bartlett, Headley in the infield with Hundley behind the plate.
The future is bright. The present is glum.

Those are my thoughts, What are yours?