Leading up to the start of the 2009 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s team is the San Diego Padres. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers will preview every team division by division until the start of the regular season.
As you comb over the Padres roster you realize they don’t have a lot to be excited about except for maybe future star Chase Headley (pictured above). Everyone knows about Jake Peavy but a lot of people in baseball circles feel that the best may have already passed for Peavy; and maybe San Diego recognizes this as they were pretty open about listening to offers on him in the offseason. A power pitcher like Peavy isn’t really long for the game. That isn’t to say that he can’t still be a great pitcher after his fastball fades but at tops you can only expect another year, maybe three at maximum for Peavy to be dominant. After that he’s merely going to be servicable in all likelihood.
The Padres have seemed able to re-tap the potential of outfielder Jody Gerut. He’ll be the leadoff hitter. Adrian Gonzalez might be developing into a top of the line talent in this league, and would be a threat to lead the league in homers if he played in a more hitter friendly home park. Kevin Kouzmanoff is either going to start to become a very good player and improve a bit on what he’s done so far in the league or what you see is what you get this year with Kouzmanoff.
Heath Bell is the new closer and the man who made all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman available/expendable after 2008. Bell should settle in and be a solid and effective closer for not only this year but the next several years in San Diego.
Starting pitcher Chris Young posted a 3.72 ERA last season with around a strike out per inning. Look for Young to return to the numbers that he held in Texas with an ERA back over 4. Rounding out the rotation should be Kevin Correia, Josh Greer, and yes folks; they signed Mark Prior.
Veteran additions include Cliff Floyd and David Eckstein. Brian Giles, Scott Hairston, and shortstop Luis Rodriguez will round out the rest of the lineup.
We’re not overly impressed with Bud Black as a manager. This could be his time to get some notoriety as a bad start by these guys and he could end up the first guy canned in baseball. GM Kevin Towers needs to assemble more talent and he knows it; which is why Peavy could have been had for a package of super prospects.
Look for the Padres to fall into subpar play this season and Peavy to get dealt. The right hander’s value will only raise around the deadline. This team is about to enter a full re-build and guys like Giles, Peavy, Hairston, even Prior and Floyd if they play well; aren’t long for the city of San Diego. It’s all about the future.