So much for Jim Edmonds. Ducksnorts readers projected him to hit .255/.338/.418, with the most pessimistic of us pegging his OPS at a limp 645. Sadly, the former All-Star didn’t even come close to those meager numbers, finishing his Padres career at .178/.265/.233 in 103 plate appearances and, more importantly, looking lost in center field.
Edmonds has been released, and his spot on the roster taken by Jody Gerut, who presumably will see most of the action in center field. This is a gutsy move considering that Gerut has 26 big-league games under his belt at the position, but such is life when you don’t have a contingency plan for your 38-year-old, badly faded superstar.
The Padres, meanwhile, owe Edmonds $6 million. That’s a hefty chunk of change for a mid-market team to be paying a guy not to play. Then again, he gets paid regardless, so the Padres might as well minimize the amount of damage he can do. Getting him off the roster seems as good a way as any to accomplish that goal.
Still, I expect the Padres to continue hunting for bargains in the over-the-hill bin. Sometimes, as in the cases of Mike Piazza and Greg Maddux, it works. Other times, it doesn’t.
The Pads also recalled catcher Luke Carlin from Triple-A Portland and returned catcher Colt Morton to Double-A San Antonio, where he can continue to refine his game. The 27-year-old Carlin, a career .245/.353/.334 hitter over parts of seven minor-league seasons, is not a prospect but probably is better equipped to handle the backup duties in San Diego at this time.
If Bud Black has more confidence in Carlin’s abilities than in Morton’s, then I’m all for this move. Josh Bard is getting pummeled behind the dish and desperately needs an occasional day off. Bard caught the entire 22 innings of an April 17 game against Colorado. At the end of that game he sported a .292/.382/.333 line. Since then he’s hitting .133/.224/.200. Who figured we’d miss Michael Barrett so much?
Finally, the Padres claimed left-hander Sean Henn off waivers from the New York Yankees. Henn is a failed prospect who throws hard but has shaky command — the anti-prototypical Padres pitcher, if you will.
From the Baseball America 2003 Prospect Handbook:
Henn threw 86-89 mph as a junior-college freshman, and didn’t show the breaking ball or maturity to handle the daily grind of pro ball. He blossomed by his sophomore season and was touching 99 mph in the months leading up to the draft. His arm action is clean, and his changeup is an effective secondary pitch… His rehab [from Tommy John surgery] has been encouraging and the Yankees expect him to be ready by spring training, 18 months after his surgery.
From the Baseball America 2004 Prospect Handbook:
His upper-90s velocity was the reason he got big money, but his velocity hasn’t returned yet and he has been tagged as a one-pitch pitcher… He primarily throws four-seam fastballs but wasn’t able to overpower anyone at 91-92 mph. Henn’s slider is better now than when he signed, but it’s still inconsistent and not a reliable offering.
From the Baseball America 2005 Prospect Handbook:
He consistently threw in the upper 90s in junior college, but he has settled into the 91-93 mph range as a pro since recovering from Tommy John surgery, which hit after just 42 professional innings and cost him the 2002 season… Despite its power, the slider is just an average pitch at this point because he lacks feel for it. That and his relatively straight heater account for a power lefty missing so few bats. Henn also lacks a decent changeup, which hurts him against righthanders.
From the Baseball America 2006 Prospect Handbook:
As a power lefthander, Henn has enough stuff to get by with just enough control, and when he’s at his best he’s effectively wild. He has enough life on his 90-93 mph fastball to pitch up in the strike zone, and then he can bury his hard slider down in the zone. When he stays on top of the pitch, it’s an above-average breaking ball… Henn just needs to trust his stuff and attack hitters.