My latest at Hardball Times is part of their annual “Five Questions” series and focuses on our favorite team. One of my questions deals with Cameron Maybin, who is a key to this franchise in many ways right now:
Oliver likes his chances this season, setting the bar at .271/.339/.422, which looks suspiciously like what Mike Cameron (to whom Maybin has been compared) did for the Padres in 2007.
The flip side of Cameron is Ruben Rivera, who peaked at age 20 in the Florida State League and then flopped. Padres fans have seen young center fielders come to San Diego and fail to deliver on their promise, so if there is skepticism on their part, Maybin can thank the likes of Rivera and Ray McDavid for that.
The good news for Maybin is that he’s being asked to replace the ironically named Tony Gwynn Jr. Expectations are low, certainly lower than they were when Maybin went to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera deal. Being traded for Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica presumably brings with it less pressure than being traded for Cabrera.
The article also discusses the void left by Adrian Gonzalez’s departure, the rotation, the bullpen, and attendance concerns. Give it a read…
On a more personal note, this is my final contribution as a regular contributor to Hardball Times. It has been a wonderful 4 1/2 years, and I’d like to thank Studes and the gang for letting me be a part of the madness… That is a fine bunch of writers and people over there.
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I also contributed to a couple of group season prediction type things, one at ESPN SweetSpot and one at Baseball Prospectus. Notice any former Padres first basemen (I had him fourth, for the record) at the top of the AL MVP predictions?
I have to laugh at all the love Gonzalez is getting as a result of moving into a market that matters. He deserves the accolades, but then, this has been true for many years…