For a team headed nowhere, there sure is a lot going on, eh? Let’s get to it…
The Padres have DFA’d 1B/3B Jorge Cantu and recalled 1B/3B/LF Jesus Guzman from Triple-A Tucson. Cantu never got it going in San Diego, hitting just .194/.232/.285 and looking less than comfortable at both corner positions.
It’s easy to hate on a guy like Cantu for, frankly, stinking up the joint. Less easy is hating on someone who departs with class and grace:
The role I had, obviously, wasn’t to play every day, but the opportunities that [Black] gave me, which I’m very thankful for, I just couldn’t deliver. I understand.
Not that Cantu wants or needs my respect, but he’s got it. He also offered his thoughts on young phenom Anthony Rizzo:
You just watch him take those at-bats; he’s such a pro at such a young age. It’s a joy to watch him. I was in his shoes seven years ago, walking up the big leagues. And I’m just telling you, I’m happy to see kids like him have tremendous success. It’s a great ballclub here, and hopefully he matures early enough.
Still hating? I didn’t think so.
Meanwhile, here comes Guzman, minor-league hitting machine. The native of Venezuela is 27 years old and owns a career line of .305/.373/.480 in 3818 minor-league plate appearances. The right-handed hitter was batting .332/.423/.529 for the T-Padres at the time of his recall.
This isn’t Guzman’s first trip to the Show. He got into 12 games for the Giants in 2009, making his debut on May 21 at Petco Park against his current uniform (he grounded into a double play against Joe Thatcher and struck out against Heath Bell in a 3-2 Padres win).
Guzman looked terrific when I caught a couple of games in Tucson last month. The comparison to Pedro Guerrero may have been a bit over the top (Guerrero did hit 215 big-league homers), but the point is, Guzman can swing the bat.
Whether he can adjust to being a role player, as Cantu apparently could not, remains to be seen. If so, Guzman could be an Olmedo Saenz type weapon off the bench or maybe a better version of Oscar Salazar.
Two recently DFA’d players, 2B/OF Eric Patterson and LHP Aaron Poreda, cleared waivers and were outrighted to Tucson. We discussed Poreda at length the other day, but the gist of the situation is that the other 29 teams didn’t want him or Patterson, so both remain in the Padres organization for now.
What has changed? Well, it’s like going out on a date with an ex… And now the folks who couldn’t fix Poreda before will get another chance to do so. How far has his stock fallen? Apparently there was less demand for his services now than there was for Sean Gallagher’s last summer. That isn’t a ringing endorsement for one’s career.
In other news, the Padres are honoring Trevor Hoffman by retiring his number 51. There will be a ceremony on Sunday, August 21, after the game against the Florida Marlins, who traded Hoffman to San Diego as part of the 1993 Fire Sale.
Hoffman is the greatest closer I personally have seen (Mariano Rivera is better, but the only time I saw him was when he gave back the World Series that Bob Brenly tried to hand the Yankees in 2001). I was there for his 300th, 479th, and 500th saves, and again when he returned to San Diego as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hoffman always represented the team and the city well, and Trevor Time provided some of the most electrifying moments in my 35 or so years of sports fandom.
Congrats to Hoffman on the honor. It will be great to see 51 up there with the others. Next on the agenda: removing the 6.
Steve Garvey’s retired number isn’t the only thing that has outlived its usefulness. Take interleague play… please.
The Padres are in Minnesota this weekend for three against the Twins. How do you even market this series? Two last place teams, in different leagues, with two of the worst offenses in baseball… feel the excitement:
Team W-L BA OBP SLG OPS+ SD 30-40 .231 .301 .335 83 Min 28-39 .244 .304 .350 81
I enjoy a good pitchers duel, but not when it results from offensive ineptitude. The prospect of getting dominated by Brian Duensing does not amuse me.
Still, when I asked if folks are fired up for the series, I received a surprise. Four people said yes, which is four more than I expected. Huzzah!
- Prospect of the Day: Anthony Bass, RHP, San Diego Padres (Minor League Ball). John Sickels on Bass: “I gave him a Grade C in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book, but his performance in Double-A has been strong enough that the rating looks too low now.” [h/t reader LynchMob]
- The good Stauff (Hardball Times). Funny, that was the title of the Padres’ souvenir program this past homestand. From the article: “The scouting projections in 2003 seem to be earning more credit, though the timing was a bit off.”
- Why Did the Marlins Trade Maybin? (FanGraphs). Who cares? Let’s just all say thanks and leave it at that. From the article: “The move really made no sense for the Marlins, even before factoring in how well he’s played this season.” And yeah, don’t trade Miguel Cabrera for Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, and Burke Badenhop.
- Marlins ownership shows its true colors again (Yahoo!). In related news, Jeffrey Loria and David Samson are still asses. [h/t reader LynchMob]
- Which Team Should Switch Leagues? (Baseball Nation). Rob Neyer offers two choices: Arizona or Houston. As many of Neyer’s readers note, the correct answer is the Brewers, who played in the American League through 1997. Or we could just eliminate divisions altogether.
- Baseball: The Worst Thing That Ever Happened to You. (Dirk Hayhurst). More good stuff from our pal: “Pro baseball is not for the faint of heart, and, like a gang, it has its own jaded sense of values outside those of rational civilization.”
- Pitchers’ Roundtable – the 1980s [Part Two] (FanGraphs). The discussion continues… Quoth Bud Black: “I think there’s still as much pitching inside today as there was, but back then there wasn’t as much hullabaloo if you did. Now the hitters make a bigger deal of it. You didn’t have that same reaction back in the ’80s.”
- The best backup catcher in the majors (SweetSpot). David Schoenfield isn’t the first to profess his love for David Ross, who played for the Padres ever so briefly in 2006. I barely remember Ross’ time here; what I do remember is the home run he hit, while a member of the Dodgers, off SDSU alum Mark Grace back in 2002. It was Grace’s first and only big-league pitching appearance. He did a sweet Mike Fetters impression… What, you were expecting Rob Johnson?
- Eugene Emeralds 2011 Season Preview (MadFriars). John Conniff gives us the scoop, including projected lineups and a chat with Randy Smith. Several 2011 draftees are on the roster, among them first-round pick Cory Spangenberg and USD alum Zach Kometani. Also appearing will be 2009 first-round pick Donavan Tate and one of my favorites, second baseman Jorge Minyeti.
- MadFriars’ Interview with Kevin Goldstein (MadFriars). Goldstein talks about the Padres 2011 draft. He likes Joe Ross, Austin Hedges, and Mark Pope.
- MadFriars’ Interview: Padres’ Jason McLeod (MadFriars). And here is a look at the same from within the organization. McLeod on Spangenberg: “…his skill set is what can really fit into PETCO Park. He’s not going to be a home run hitter, but I do think he will send a few over the wall. We see him more as someone that will hit for high average, can run and has very good on-base skills.”
Happy Friday. Go Padres!