San Diego Padres Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Thursday January 10, 2013

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v San Diego Padres

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres haven’t made a move that will conceivably make them contenders in a competitive National League West division. San Diego went 76-86 in 2012, which was good enough for fourth place in the NL West.

A move could still be made, and Padres’ pundits have went as far to suggest some type of signing and/or trade before Spring Training. Still, their aren’t a ton of options that would fit into their constrained payroll, especially after they signed Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions.  They still have a decent bullpen anchored by Street and set-up man Luke Gregerson.

Pending a significant addition, San Diego should be a bit better in the win department. Some of their key starting pitchers will be returning from injuries, and a couple of top prospects could take the fast track to the Major Leagues and make an impact by season’s end.  Most notably, they will need Clayton Richard to improve to the next level, having won 14 games in 2 of the last 3 years – while holding an ERA under 4.00.  Eric Stults was the surprise of the Starting Rotation of last season – posting a 8-3 Record, with a 2.92 ERA in 14 Games Started.

More importantly, they went on a nice streak in the final few weeks in 2012. Perhaps this could fuel a hot start in 2013.

Let’s preview this young team.

Chase Headley2012 Highlights for the NL RBI Champion

Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting.  He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.

Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting. He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.

Players Who Will Be Free Agents After 2013:

Jason Marquis (RHP), Mark Kotsay (LHB), Edinson Volquez (RHP).

The majority of the Padres’ roster consists of Arbitration Eligible players, which explains their low Free Agent count. With that said, Chase Headley is due a big extension, and he will certainly eat up a good portion of their payroll if he repeats his 2012 campaign.

Marquis and Volquez could be used as trade chips come the July deadline. The Padres pondered upon trading Volquez around that time last offseason, but ultimately held on to him.

Marquis probably doesn’t carry much trade value. He had a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts with the Padres last year, but his low strikeout and high hits per nine innings numbers don’t spark much appeal, nor does his 5.15 ERA over the past three years. He’s a really poor man’s Kyle Lohse, who’s struggling to find work.

Trade Candidates: Chase Headley, Edinson Volquez, Jedd Gyorko

As aforementioned, Volquez seems most likely to be traded at some point if the Padres are out of contention when the trade deadline rolls around. He isn’t impossible to acquire, and can be a difference-maker for a contender.

Other than Volquez, Headley trade rumors could also arise if the Padres decide that they won’t be able to pay him to the big extension he’ll be looking for a couple of years down the line.

But, Headley still has a lot to prove before he deserves a top-tier extension. His stellar 2012 season (.286 Average, 31 HRs and an NL-Leading 115 RBI) kind of came out of nowhere, specifically from a power standpoint. In his first five years in the majors, he only hit 36 HRs combined, whereas he nearly matched that total in one season. This naturally sparks some speculation as to where his power stroke came from, and if he will be able to sustain it.

If the budding Third Baseman does prove that 2012 was no fluke, though, then the Padres will have to consider trading him, or open their checkbook. Except, money doesn’t necessarily fall from trees in San Diego. Translation: extending Headley could be the problem.

The possibility of Gyorko being trade, meanwhile, will depend on Headley because he is also a third baseman. I can assure you one thing, though— Gyorko will eventually find a place in San Diego’s lineup if they don’t trade him, as his bat—the Padres don’t have many of these—is too good to keep in the minors.

He hit 30 Home Runs in 126 games last season, and totaled an impressive .921 OPS. More appealing, he’s only 23, and has absolutely raked in the minor leagues. A promotion to the majors could come as soon as 2013 if the Padres can find a vacancy.

Will Grandal, Alonso, Forsythe, Cabrera and Amarista continue to improve?

Grandal hit 4 HRs in hist 1st 10 Games before the ALL-Star Game.  As a Csatcher that has patience at the plate, he served up a 3 Slash of .297/.394/.863 in his few months of action.  The Padres have big hopes for this offensive Catcher in 2013

Grandal hit 4 HRs in hist 1st 10 Games before the ALL-Star Game. As a Catcher that has patience at the plate, he served up a 3 Slash of .297/.394/.863 in his few months of action. The Padres have big hopes for this offensive Catcher in 2013.

With a greater portion of their Infield spots taking up by young inexpensive players, the Padres must see some improvement within the organization.  Yonder Alonso placed 6th in NL Rookie Of The Year Voting while clubbing 150 base hits.  His power  has not come around  yet, so he will need to improve on that .262/.348/.741 Slash Line from 2012.  Yasmani Grandal smacked 8 HRs in just 192 AB out of the Catchers position last year.  He needs to stay healthy and operate at that clip for the team to make any run at a playoff spot.  Alexi Amarista can play either Second Base, Left Field or Shortstop – and will probably see time in all 3 spots in the upcoming season.  (Little Ninja) Amarista must play good defense no matter where he is as he is not a real power threat at the plate. 

Everth Cabrera led the National League in Stolen Bases in 2012 with 44, however he hit just .246 – and yields a .240 Lifetime Average.  He also strucks out about 1 time for every 4 AB.  He needs to shorten up his stroke and make better contact and leg out some base hits (Sounds like a Major League reference when The Coach tells Willie Mays Hayes he owes him 20 pushups every-time he hits a popout, but this would be Strikeouts.)  Logan Forsythe had a 3 Slash-Line of .273/.343/.733 in 315 AB during the 2012 campaign.  He belted 86 hits in those At-Bats.  Much like Amarista, the man can play an array of different positions (2B/SS/3B).  There will be a nice competition amongst Forsythe, Amarista and Cabrera for the 2 middle infield starting spots.  

Can Carlos Quentin Stabilize Their Outfield?

Quentin signed a three-year extension with San Diego in late July. Many pundits thought that a power-hitter like Quentin wouldn’t want to remain in Petco Park; the ultimate pitchers’ park even with the fences being moved in.

Now that he’s locked up, all he has to do is stay healthy, which easier said than done for Quentin.

In 2012, Quentin played in just 86 games for the Padres. Initially, he was sidelined because he was recovering from a knee surgery that he underwent last March. He missed 49 games because that, then, his knee slowly started to flare up again, and he would continue to miss short stints until eventually undergoing another surgery in October.

A full season, or something relatively similar, would give San Diego’s offense a huge jolt. For one, Quentin would give Chase Headley some much needed protection, which will be needed as teams will adjust to his strengths and pound his weaknesses. Secondly, he can hit 30-plus HRs a year. The Padres haven’t had a three-four tandem that can hit 60-plus HRs combined in a long time.

Will San Diego’s Outfield Find Any Stability?

Outside of Quentin, no one really knows what to expect from the Padres’ outfield of Cameron Maybin and Will Venable. If they can both find a consistent stroke, then San Diego’s offense will be much better than it was in 2012.

Maybin, who was initially supposed to be San Diego’s future center fielder, slashed for .243/.306/.656 last year. He did contribute with his speed, swiping 26 bases, but as a top of the order hitter, his OBP will need to drastically improve. Granted, Maybin still has time to be what the Padres thought he’d be as he’s just 25-Years-Old, but time is ticking.

Venable is in a similar situation. He boasts speed (24 SB in 2012), but his OBP (.335) still isn’t that great for someone with a considerable amount of speed. Perhaps he has a breakout season at 29-Years-Old, but the Padres can’t expect much from right field. 

If  Venable or Maybin struggle, or when Carlos Quentin is banged up,  Chris Denorfia and Jesus Guzman will be right there to take their places with 3 Slash Lines in 2012 of .293/.345?.796 and .247/.319/.747 respectively.  Denofria also added 13 SB and 33 XBH in his 348 AB during 2012.

It is clear that if this club wants to compete with the likes of the Dodgers, Giants and even the DiamondBacks for that matter – the ownership better be prepared to spend some money!

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v San Diego Padres

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

Jake Dal Porto is a Baseball Writer with MLB reports and a student from the Bay Area. Jake’s favorite sports moment was when the Giants won the World Series back in 2010. He loves to use sabermetrics in his work. He thinks they are the best way to show a player’s real success compared to the basic stats such as ERA, RBIs, and Wins. Jake also enjoys interacting and debating with his readers. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @TheJakeMan24//

Jake Dal Porto

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About Jake Dal Porto

Jake Dal Porto is a student from the Bay Area. He has followed Bay Area sports for years, and enjoys writing about the various Bay Area teams. He is an assistant editor at Golden Gate Sports, and the editor of Blue Man Hoop. If you need to contact Jake, email him: jakedalporto@gmail.com

Posted on January 10, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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