Stupid Money

David Wells is gone — the Padres are still figuring out what, exactly, to do with him, but he’s gone… I have to tread lightly here, because he was a popular player and I don’t want to kick a guy when he’s down. That said, this was a long time coming. Wells had coughed up seven runs in three of his last four starts (he gave up five in the other), and his ERA was hovering around 8.00 away from Petco Park.

From the U-T:

Entering last offseason, Wells said it would take “stupid money” to persuade him to continue his pitching career. Towers lured him with a $3 million salary, plus an incentive plan that paid Wells $176,471 per start from his 11th start through his 27th.

In retrospect, that was stupid money. Wells won’t make a 27th start for the Padres, but here’s how he’s done since the incentive plan kicked in:

David Wells, Starts 11 through 22
Stats are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
5.10 6.28 12.79 1.76 2.79 4.41 .328 .372 .536

That cost the Padres a shade over $2.1 million in 2007. You don’t need me to tell you what kind of investment this is. Suffice to say, the Padres need to be a bit more careful with their money.

I appreciate the work Wells did here in 2004, and I’ll miss watching him try to drag bunt for a base hit. But the rebel-without-a-cause thing doesn’t suit a man of his age, and his constant bickering with umpires made me cringe more often than not.

The good news is that George Kottaras, whom the Padres gave up to acquire Wells, is turning out to be more of a spare part than bona fide prospect. Much as I hated to see him go at the time, it’s hard to lament the loss of a 24-year-old who can’t crack a 700 OPS at Triple-A. Once again, it appears that Kevin Towers had a pretty good feel for the players in his system.

On a more sobering note, the Padres lost again Wednesday to a lousy pitcher and now find themselves in a four-team race in the NL West. Honestly, when is the last time all five members of a Colorado rotation had ERAs under 5.00?

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see all me whine about the absence of our top prospects… Several made today’s PPR…


Pete LaForest: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 5 RBI; 2 HR, BB – .229/.349/.545


Matt Antonelli: 6 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2 HR, SO – .367/.468/.667
Chad Huffman: 5 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2B, HR, 2 SO – .300/.370/.463


David Freese: 4 AB, 1 R, 0 H, 0 RBI – .301/.402/.492
Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; HR
Matt Buschmann: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR



Short Season-A

Mat Latos: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR


Edinson Rincon: 3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 3 SO – still hitless (21 AB)


David Freese has scuffled of late. He is 4-for-34 over his last 10 games… However, looking at David’s season numbers gets me excited. Lake Elsinore has an expansive right-center field (425 feet). As such, it is a rare pitchers’ park in the hitter-friendly Cal League. David has 18 doubles at home vs 7 on the road. He’s obviously taking advantage of the deep right-center alley. I can’t help but dream on how he’d do in Petco.

Nice to see Latos spin a gem.

Thanks, Peter. National League ERA leader Chris Young returns from the DL to start in St. Louis on Thursday, as the Padres seek a split of their series with the Cardinals. We’ll have the IGD up around 4 p.m. PT. Go Padres!

Tagged as: , , , ,

37 Responses »

  1. His number in AA are crazy. Might Antonelli be ready to start in San Diego next year?

  2. It’s scout night at the Storm game tomorrow night, so I’ll be there with the family. The cool thing is after the game, the scouts get to pitch a tent in the outfield and spend the night on the field. Hopefully we’ll get to watch a less frustrating game than the one the Padres played last night.

  3. Pete LaForest might do better than Barrett right now. He should be called up.

    NOG is done. His first-pitch hacking way is getting tiresome. Is he insane?

  4. My take: the padres have been exposed as a lousy hitting team. Period. We have little guys who swing big, NOG, Green and big guys who slap, OG. Only two legit hitters, Bradley and AG. Camy is too streaky. Kouz is too young, and Silent L is suddenly the best hitter in baseball, but what about tomorrow. Barrett is a bust and Bard is ok. We have no offensive leader, The bully has Hoffy, the starters have Peavy and even Young. The offense, zipp. I have my doubts about getting into the playoffs because we are not emerging from this batting slump, what you see is what you get. BTW, thanks to Wells, but it had to happen.

  5. Being one of the resident soft spots here at Ducksnorts, I am sorry to see Boomer go. I think he was good for the team in terms of attitude and swagger and I think he worked well with the younger guys. I’ll also miss the postings of his correspondence from the commish.

    I recognize that his performance had dropped off to “unacceptable.” But, I liked having Boomer around. Assuming that we can get someone to step into his role and be better at it, I’m all for it. But, I will be a bit nostalgic about Boomer and his tenure with the Padres.

  6. This team hasn’t really hit since 1998 and May 2005 IMHO, regardless of the hitting coach and the home ballpark. Runners LOB and failure to produce runs with men in scoring position and less than 2 outs drive my blood pressure up to levels that I should probably be concerned about. At this point, I’d happily trade some defense for some offense; in fact, I wouldn’t mind the front office giving Antonelli a legitimate chance to start with the big club next year.

  7. Phillies acquired Branyon from Cleveland for cash. Quick profit for Cleveland.

  8. I guess Russell Branyan will never again be able to say “I can’t be bought”

  9. 4: If you look at our offensive numbers since the ASB, they are better than the first half. Our pitching failed us out of the gate from the break, or else we would be in first right now.

    Yeah, games like yesterday are frustrating to be sure. But overall, we’re not as bad offensively as we like to lament. Do I think we could shake things up? Of course. NOG pretty much sealed his fate as a bench guy after yesterday’s game, and I agree that Barrett has not been what was advertised. We need Bradley back and I’d like to see Hairston get a couple starts.

    Short term, I think we could bring up LaForest and maybe even one of the IF guys from Portland that seem to be tearing it up. Long term, I think that giving Antonelli a shot in ’08 may not be that bad of a move. Headley will also hopefully provide some consistency.

    The problem with our offense isn’t that it sucks. Our problem is consistency. Everyone on our team has the capable to be a credible offensive threat, they just can’t do it all the time.

  10. The Rockies (a.k.a the hottest team in the NL West) are coming on strong because of improved pitching and tremendous hitting. The Snakes aren’t going away. The Padres? Hanging on with the hope of winning every night either 1-0 or 2-1.

    We have very good pitching, but the utter lack of reliable (re: ‘professional’) hitting means another short trip to October, assuming we even make it at all.

  11. 9: Yikes, perception vs. reality. According to BR:

    1st Half OPS: .701
    2nd Half OPS: .712

    Runs/Game 1st Half: 4.3
    Runs/Game 2nd Half: 4.2

    K/G 1st Half: 7.9
    K/G 2nd Half: 7.3

    So I’m sort of right in the assertion that it’s been our pitching. Let’s look at those numbers:

    ERA 1st Half: 3.12
    ERA 2nd Half: 4.77

    K/BB 1st Half: 2.6
    K/BB 2nd Half: 2.0

    OPS against 1st Half: .652
    OPS against 2nd Half: .740

    So in summary, our offense is about what it was first half, but our pitching has gone to crap in a big way.

  12. GY: I posted something with numbers that seems to have been held up. Can you release it?

  13. Thanks geoff. I was bummed when it didnt show because i felt so proud of myself for digging up those numbers.

    Would anyone be able to calculate what our era would be if we replaced boomer with a league average starter for his second half starts?

  14. 14: Post ASB the Padres have a team ERA of 4.77. If you replace Wells’ 22.7 IP with 22.7 NL Avg IP, our team ERA would be 4.15 Post ASB.

  15. As bad as Barrett has been through 100 at bats or so , it is probably worth it to keep him on the roster in the hope that he starts hitting the way he is capable of. Laforest will probably be on this roster when it expands in three weeks anyway. I would like the Pads to give Laforest some at bats next year, I am curious to see if he can hit major league pitching (he has showed in the past that he can’t while with TB, but that was two or three years ago).

    Also, curious about AAA Jack Cassel (a Brian Lawrence type) who may be decent pitching in Petco. Padres also have another soft tosser, sinker ball type at AA who I like in Josh Geer.

  16. Wells still wants to pitch for another NL team. I was hoping that he wouldn’t embarrass himself but he looks like he is going out the way Steve Carlton did

  17. 15: That’s a pretty dramatic difference. With that, our record would probably be a little better given the fact that our R/G would be much closer to our ERA.

  18. 18: You’d expect a record over .500 rather than below, so yeah, if we were getting league average production instead of Wells’ 10+ ERA, we’d probably be in first right now. Oh well. He’s gone now.

  19. Any word of who gets the start on Saturday?

  20. 20: Ledezma is starting on Friday. Germano is pushed to Saturday.

  21. Ledezma’s getting the start Friday, giving Germano the start on Saturday with an extra day of rest.

  22. 11: Yup, that sounds about right.
    Wells 4 terrible starts and 2 of Maddux starts that the bullpen blew pretty much add to the loss columns. Had the Padres won 3 of those, the D’backs would be looking up.

    Still, the offense has been sputtering for the whole season. It has to get better or no playoffs for the Padres, at least another early exit. I’m hoping the Padres would do a Cardinals like last year but alas NL West is the toughest division.

  23. Whenever you have two aces in your starting rotation you can’t say an early exit is a given. The bats could get hot at the right time.

  24. 23: Based on the current standings and third order winning percentage, the Padres have to be the favorites to win the NL West.

  25. 24: True. And really, in the playoffs there are no givens. The better team doesn’t always win in a short series.

  26. I just noticed how many fewer homeruns Peavy has given up this year as compared to previous years. This guy is pitching his heart out this year. If he is “on” like this last year in the NLCS than we are not talking about an “early” exit.

  27. 27. you mean NLDS

  28. 9 Thanks for the reality check, baseball is good that way, balancing numbers with emotions. There was a time in May when you had a good feeling training late in a game. Now I feel like if we are behind, crap forget it. Whats more is this feeling that the bats are going wake up soon. I hope so. Remember when Gwynn came to the plate, you always had hope. Now, its like, click, lets see whose on Jeapardy.

  29. This is interesting. Guess who is in the starting lineup tonight for the Cardinals? Yep, Rick Ankiel.
    It’s on under blogs.

  30. I am bummed to see Wells ago, especially the game that triggered it, he was pitching an excellent game until the 5th, gave up a few crappy hits and then the flood gates opened.

    Our pitching has been bad, but we still have a solid pen, along with Peavy, Young and Maddux. Hopefully we cobble together the back end of the rotation well enough. Germano has been a serviceable 5th starter, so we have to hope that Ledezma/Hensley can replace what we should have had for the 4th starter.

    I don’t know when get Bradley back, but the additions ought to help. Barrett is better than he has been, and the 50/50-ish split with Bard is not so bad. Blum has provided surprising pop at second, and hopefully NOG can find some discipline and give us some good D and passable AB’s.

    I think our offense will be better down the stretch as we get guys back and some bad streaks end. Our 4th and 5th slots scare me, but, if they come through, we ought to be in the thick of it.

  31. 29: Most teams lose almost every time they are behind late in the game. Heck, within the past week we’ve had two big comebacks. Against the Giants we were down 3 in the eighth and rallied to win, and against the D-Backs we were down 4 in the ninth and rallied to tie it.

    I’d like to see Mackowiak and Hairston get some time at second once Bradley and OG are back to full health. Blum has been nice, but I think the previous three seasons are far more predictive of his future ability than one good month.

  32. The Padres also need a PH. Whoever was there starting the season (Silent L, I’m looking at you) had been horrible and nobody has been picking it up in that role.

  33. The Tigers are doing an imitation of the Padres:

    The defending AL champions are 11-17 since the All-Star break.

  34. Ensberg, Hairston, MacKowiak and Blum are bench players you are not going to win with bench players in your starting lineup

  35. XX Reporting that Sweeny was traded to the dodgers

  36. 2: I was wondering why the scouts would be sleeping in tents in the OF, and then I realized you meant Boy Scouts, not baseball scouts. :-)