Padres Release Edmonds, Shuffle Deck Chairs

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.

Musical Catchers

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?

Project Lefty

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.

Sounds like a project to me. Henn is expected to take the spot of Joe Thatcher or Glendon Rusch.

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38 Responses »

  1. Edmonds name did show up a lot in the Most Likely To Disappoint section that was posted in March.
    I guess the word DISAPPOINT is a relative term.

  2. As far as who to designate for assignment between Thatcher or Rusch, I’m for both of them packing their bags at this point.

  3. Bleak outlook from Tim Sullivan:

    Predicting we won’t make it out of the cellar. We don’t spend on free agents. We have virtually no real talent in the minors. Patchwork… lucky on some trades helped us the past couple years but we’re in for a reckoning. OUCH!!!! How did it go so bad so quick? Now they’re tooo scared to bring Headley up? What the heck?

  4. “Jody’s played in the big leagues in center field,” said General Manager Kevin Towers. “My hope is that it’s not a stopgap. My hope is that he’ll open our eyes.”

    This is such crap – 30 year old journeyman after 2 knee surgery’s, hasn’t been effective in 5 years and didn’t play much center when he was healthy. Does Tower’s think we are idiots ?

  5. If they really thought this was a 90 win team, wouldnt there have been a more legitimate backup plan for CF ???

  6. #4@JP: And Chip Ambres is different how, exactly?

    He’s 28 instead of 30. They’ve both been injured. Ambres hasn’t been as good in the majors and nowhere near as good in the minors.

    I’m sure they’re looking for a long-term fix in CF, but it doesn’t help anyone to say that “Gerut is a fill-in until we can upgrade” or “We’re desperately shopping for a young CF.”

  7. So with Carlin going to the show (good for him), who’s the back up catcher in Portland now?

    ….Wait…Shawn Wooten? I guess he was signed to a Minor League deal and assigned to Portland. His bio pic on the Beav’s website shows him in a NO Zephyrs hat…


  8. #8@Rain Delay: Oh, and Wooten, is 35. Journeyman catcher, to sit behind the prospect.

  9. Here is a baseball story that will lighten your day….

    If you aren’t familiar with improv everywhere, check out the link to “frozen grand central” on the right side of the page.

  10. As the author of the currently irrelevant poll I feel obliged to offer up a replacement.

    How about: Who should now get the bulk of starts in CF?
    A) Gerut
    B) Hairston
    C) Sign a veteran
    D) Trade for a prospect
    E) Does it matter?

  11. Does anyone have any up to date information on Hensley or Prior? How long will Estes be in the rotation?

  12. #6@Tom Waits: You think I want Ambres in there everyday in centerfield ? In which post did I state this ?

  13. Tom Waits : I’m sure they’re looking for a long-term fix in CF ?

    Really, what makes you so sure ? Well, yes, I will concede, I am sure that they don’t see Gerut as the centerfielder of the future.

  14. #8@Rain Delay: Wow, I think they have recycled Shawn Wooten through the system 3 different times.

  15. #14@JP: There have been about a dozen reports of their interest in young CF since before the season started. It’s highly unfortunate they didn’t land one.

    #13@JP: Am I misremembering you as a big Ambres booster?

    #15@JP: He’s like a vampire who can survive sunlight if he’s wearing catcher’s gear. If you go back to the PCL Padres you’ll probably find a picture of Wooten.

  16. I don’t think any of the moves they made yesterday were long term moves…

    Carlin – Was on a hot streak and allowed them to not start Hundleys clock yet. Does anyone really expect him to start more than once every 2 weeks or be on the team past the all-star break?

    Henn – This is a classic towers move of finding a cast off from another team and re-building his confidence by putting him in petco park. Will he be Scott Linebrink or will he be Tim Redding? time will tell but most of these guys sputter out after their first year or so.

    Guret – Guret has played well in AAA but lets face it he’s more of a 4th OF at this point in his career, he may prove me wrong but if he is in the Padres staring CF in 2009 then ill be a little worried.

    The Padres will prob wait until mid June to pull up any true prospects or make a trade for any other teams prospects because they do not want to burn an arbitration year on a loosing season or expose the prospects to such a mess of a team at this point. I can’t say I disagree with them.

    I just hope Wolf continues to pitch well and Giles stays productive during these dark times so that the Pads have at least something to trade at the deadline….

    The Padres got really lucky the last 4 years, they played in a poor division and some trades that they made really wokred out a lot better than anyone ever thought they would. Thier luck has just run out and now they are paying for it.

  17. The best that I think we can hope for at this point is that Prior and Hensley do not have any more set backs and that Hampson comes back soon. That may be able to sure up the bullpen and 5th starters spot which have both been huge holes in the club.

  18. The Marlins are about to extend Hanley Ramirez for 6 years, $70m. Great move if it actually happens.

    I’m interested to know why Huber doesn’t get more at-bats vs. right handers. He’s 2 years younger then McAnulty and his numbers in the minors were about the same. It’s not like McAnulty has been so good that they can’t afford to bench him (and his fielding and baserunning are both below average).

    I’d assume that Rusch is about to be released for Henn — Thatcher was so good down the stretch last season that you can at least hope that he’s just on a bad run at the moment. Rusch doesn’t really have much upside.

  19. #4@JP: Padres have a habit of feeding us shit and calling it pudding.

    By the way, if no one has realized it, Hairston is awful too. I imagine if Gerut does OK within a week the focus will be on how bad he is and why Headly isnt playing LF.

  20. #16@Tom Waits: How bad have things become when we are tussling between Ambres and Gerut as to who will fill the regular centerfield job and 5th place in the batting order ? Geruts minor league stats are better but for crying out loud, the dude really hasn’t even played anything resembling a full season in 5 years.
    It doesn’t matter really – its a matter of the front office simply announcing “NEXT” ! Ambres will get his 70-100 at bats this season as a Padre as it will become one of those bad years in which everyone gets a “look- see”.

  21. Perhaps ownership believes that Petco is the attraction, not the team itself.

    #20 Zagz; You are right, this years problems have been a team effort. There are not one or two players solely responsible for this collapse.

  22. Henn was given a lot of shots with the Yanks, who loved his stuff and needed a lefty in the pen. The fact they gave up on him is telling, he is strictly Triple A

  23. Since we have the worst record in baseball, I think the moves they are most likely to make at this point are claiming players designated for assignment off of waivers, like Henn. Not as exciting as a big trade for a top center field prospect but this just happens to be more realistic at the moment. They have first dibs on any DFA as the worst team. Here are two recent DFA’s that could be of interest to the Padres:

    OF Nathan Haynes, 28: Anaheim didn’t have room for him in their crowded outfield, now Tampa’s outfield is too crowded. That might not necessarily be a bad thing for the speedy Haynes. Those two team’s are among the deepest in baseball. He might just need a chance to play regularly. He only batted 44 times with TB and had an OBP of .277 but he stole 4 bases. Last season in AAA, he hit .386 with 14 SB’s and 6 triples in 44 games. Obviously, he’s fast. Probably not the long-term answer and wouldn’t hit more than Gerut but he’d bring a little excitement to this offense. They sure do need it.

    C Raul Casanova, 35: This former Padre minor leaguer was DFA’d by the Mets when they activated Ramon Castro off the DL. He probably isn’t much different than Luke Carlin, limited offensively, solid defensively, but he is more experienced. However, Casanova was hitting .280 in 46 at bats this season. His best season came in ’01 when he hit .260 with 11 HR’s for Milwaukee.

    These moves would be minimal and not geared toward the future, but any change right now could help to spark the team. Our team has turned into one pitiful mess.

  24. #24: Raul is not going to be better than Luke but more pricey.
    No reason to claim him.

    I hope Rusch is the one got DFA’d next. The guy can’t even cover first base not to mention pitch in the ML level.

    On the good news, the Padres are only 2 games behind the Giants.
    Let’s catch them first. Yeah, it’s that bad.

  25. I was going to bring up Haynes as well. I think he would be a pretty good pickup-I like him in CF quite a bit better than Gerut.

  26. #26@Paul R: I would also rather have speedster Freddy Guzman (28 yrs old) in center field than Gerut. Guzman cleared waivers recently and is performing well in the minors after having a great spring training for the Bengals.

    Also, nothing special, but fairly solid stopgap and talked about as an option for the Padres was Reed Johnson. The Padres declined.

  27. What about Jacque Jones? Local kid, good defensive OF-can play CF (and has played a lot more there than Gerut). If we get Jacque Jones a caddy who hits RH (wait-we have one, it’s Scott Hairston) he’s an above average (okay, maybe league avg.) CF. An OF of Headley in LF, Jones/Hairston in CF, and Giles in RF is much better that what we’ve had.

  28. #28 LynchMob; Bengals is code for Tigers. Sort of like Friars equals Padres. White Sox=Pale Hose; Mets=Metropolitans; Red Sox=Bosox; Pirates=Bucs; Indians=Tribe, Yankees=Bombers, etc.
    I am always guilty of calling the Florida Marlins the Miami Marlins. It goes back to the Satchell Paige days

  29. #29PaulR; I hardly see how someones birthplace is instrumental in improving the team. We are not going to improve our performance by simply trading for players who live closer to San Diego! Provincialism is an expansion team ploy.

  30. I think Gerut should get ALL the starts in CF against RHP, that way by September they will know enough about him post knee surgery to know if they should plan on him playing RF in 09.

  31. There is way too much bitching going on.

  32. #33@Richard Wade: I know and I can’t stop.

  33. Just catching up here – haven’t wanted to do much Padres-talking this year (for obvious reasons)
    But debating the merits of Gerut/Ambres/Hairston is a bit silly. They’re all 4th/5th OF types. The padres dug their own grave this year when they let Bradley and Cameron walk without any kind of plan to replace them besides a way over-the-hill Jim Edmonds. The padres, as a small-budget team, have done very well the last few years by doing the little things right – assembling good, cheap bullpens and finding useful bench players.

    This season, however, the team decided to turn its useful bench players into starters, and that’s just not going to work. So it’s time for radical changes. Henn is a good start – a lefty who reaches the mid-90s. The Yankees are always impatient with their prospects, so I wouldn’t read much into that.

    I wouldn’t touch Jacque Jones – he’s stretched as a center-fielder and his power is gone. Remember Jay Payton and Terrmell Sledge – same guy. We don’t want him. The Padres need a defensive stud out there, and if Felix Pie is really available then he should’ve been a Padre yesterday. I don’t like the idea of giving up Greene, but since the Cubs have three shortstops on their roster already, I assume Towers could finagle one of them (ideally Cedeno) along with Felix. Piniella hates Pie and unless the cubs are going to dump Uncle Lou soon then I don’t think Felix has a spot in Chicago. While we’re at it, let’s grab Matt Murton too – he’s an on-base machine who can handle right field. This turns into a bigger trade at that point, probably involving a starter, but what better place for Greg Maddux to close out his career in the same place he started it, in a pennant race?

    I don’t really like Gerut in center at all, but I do understand that they have to have somebody out there. They won’t let you play with 8 fielders. I am baffled by the sparse playing time for Justin Huber. They got him, his minor league numbers suggest he can hit a little bit, why not see? This season’s over.

    At the trade deadline, I can’t see a lot of value the Pads can deal. Except for, and I know this is blasphemy, dealing Adrian Gonzalez to the yankees. He would be great in that park (and the new one, which supposedly has a similar short porch in right) and the Padres could, legitimately ask for one of Hughes, Kennedy or Austin Jackson along with Kei Igawa, who lots of scouts think could thrive in Petco/the NL. It’s a huge move, to trade your best player before free agency, but it could yield huge results, too, especially if the return ends up being 40% of your starting rotation. It’s something to think about. Do that, and your 2009 Padres look something like this:
    1B – Kouz
    2B – Antonelli
    SS – Ronny Cedeno
    3B- Headley
    LF – Huber
    CF – Pie
    RF – Murton
    SP – Peavy/Young/Wolf/Hughes/Igawa

    That’s a better lineup than we’re sending out now, by far.