San Diego Padres 2011 Preview

Record: 90-72

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Nick Hundley, Rob Johnson
  • Infielders: Jason Barlett, Orlando Hudson, Brad Hawpe, Chase Headley, Jorge Cantu, Kevin Frandsen
  • Outfielders: Will Venable, Ryan Ludwick, Cameron Maybin, Eric Patterson, Chris Denorfia
  • Starters: Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, Aaron Harang, Tim Stauffer, Wade LeBlanc
  • Bullpen: Heath Bell, Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson, Chad Qualls, Randy Flores, Pat Neshek, Dustin Mosley

Notable Signings

  1. Orlando Hudson: 2 years, $11.5MM
  2. Aaron Harang: 1 year, $4MM
  3. Brad Hawpe: 1 year, $3
  4. Chad Qualls: 1 year, $1.5MM
  5. Cameron Maybin: traded for 2 pitchers
  6. Jason Barlett: traded for 4 players

Notable Losses

  1. Adrian Gonzalez
  2. Kevin Correia
  3. Miguel Tejada
  4. Chris Young
  5. Yorvit Torrealba

Top Prospects

Verducci Effect?

  1. Casey Kelly: RHP
  2. Anthony Rizzo: 1B
  3. Jaff Decker: RF
  4. Simon Castro: RHP

Key Position Battles

  • 5th Starter: Wade LeBlanc vs. Cory Luebke – While Luebke has major league talent and is ready to take a rotation spot he should likely start in the minors before stealing away a spot from LeBlanc or Stauffer. LeBlanc is like Jekyll and Hyde, home and away. He pitched to a 2.71 ERA at PETCO and 5.97 away from his home park. Despite these struggles he should still be able to lock down the starting spot out of the gate but the job will be Luebke’s soon enough. 5th Starter Pick: Wade LeBlanc

The key for a Padres team, who played well above their pay grade in 2010, will be the pitching staff as a whole. PETCO Park can make any staff look like a group full of studs; although they are not particularly talented. The one part of this Pads team that is truly stellar is their bullpen. The ‘pen is headlined by top end closer Heath Bell, who has saved 91 games over the past 2 years. They could easily shorten games with the depth that strikeout artists Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson(162 Ks over 145 IP in 2010 combined) bring to the bullpen. Chad Qualls is a former closer himself and will look to rebound from a miserable 2010 campaign. If he bounces back he will add an extra lock down option in the Padres bullpen. San Diego will also need to ride the arms of young starters in order to be successful again this season. Mat Latos is a prime candidate for the Verducci Effect and very likely will not repeat his dominant rookie performance. The addition of Aaron Harang gives the rotation a nice veteran presence but he is clearly on a steep career decline. Clayton Richard had a bit of a breakout season in 2010, mainly attributed to great numbers at PETCO. The offense is a quite the disaster without Adrian Gonzalez holding down the middle of the order any longer. When your best offensive player is Will Venable(.245/.324/.408 with only 13 home runs in 2010,) you can expect trouble on the offensive side of the ball all season long. They added Cameron Maybin to man centerfield with the hopes that he brings a dimension of speed to the lineup. He is only 23 years old and has struggled early in his career but has potential to break out in a full time role. Other key additions include Brad Hawpe(who will be sapped of his power going from Coors to PETCO,) Orlando Hudson(who has become a declining mercenary,) and Jason Barlett. Ryan Ludwick felt the effects of PETCO batting a mere .211 over 59 games after his trade to San Diego last spring. I simply can not see this Padres team repeating what they did last year. They will struggle too much offensively and the pitching will most definitely take a step back despite the park factor.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 75-87

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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