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So, Yeah… Poreda

When the Padres recalled Anthony Bass on Monday (he won his debut — congrats on that) to replace the injured Aaron Harang, they had to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Bass. To do so, they severed ties with another pitcher named Aaron.

The Padres DFA’d Aaron Poreda, who was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Jake Peavy to the White Sox in July 2009. It has been a long time since I’ve thought of Poreda in those terms, but other people have reminded me, so I guess we might as well acknowledge it.

As a pitcher, Poreda had a few things going for him:

  • Big, young, strong
  • Left-handed
  • Former first-round pick

He also had one glaring weakness:

  • Can’t actually pitch

My assessment of Poreda from March 2010:

Poreda throws the ball hard and all over the place, sort of like ex-Padre Wil Ledezma. Poreda, a former first-round pick out of Pepperdine the University of San Francisco, works in the mid-90s, rare velocity for a southpaw. He owns a sparkly career ERA (3.12) in 314.1 IP, but relatively weak peripherals (3.58 BB/9, 7.85 K/9). In 2009, split between Double-A and Triple-A, Poreda’s walk rate ballooned to a John D’Acquistoish 6.31 BB/9. That usually doesn’t work. Poreda’s career, like his fastball, could go in many different directions. He could be Al Leiter, he could be Al Hrabosky, he could be Al Bundy.

And as Ledezma will tell you, all the velocity in the world won’t help a guy find home plate… Maybe someone can teach Poreda how to pitch. I hope so.

Meanwhile, the Padres also received Clayton Richard in the Peavy trade. Richard isn’t the world’s most exciting player (except perhaps when he throws to a base), but he is useful enough at the back end of a big-league rotation. He also isn’t guaranteed $37 million through 2013 or a disciple of the Ben Sheets School of Health and Durability, which is a plus.

But yeah, it would have been nice to get something out of Poreda. Hey, at least we have the memory of Robbie Beckett to comfort us…

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24 Responses »

  1. Question on the DFA thing. Is he now available to sign anywhere? Is it possible we could re-sign him? Not sure how that process works.

  2. @pat- he will be placed on waivers, traded, or released…. I am guessing he will be placed and waivers. He could be retained by the Padres if no other team wants him.

  3. he went to Univ of San Francisco not Pepperdine! And if the Padres had any teachers on any of their staffs he might learn sometning and be useful. But from the looks of the staff both in Tucson and San Diego there does not seem that they care to teach! Either you have “success” somewhere else or you founder in their system. nothing to be excited about. They sure are notthe Giants!

  4. whatever happens to that Dexter guy – #4 pitcher in that trade?

  5. @David: Thanks for the correction. Poreda is a first-round bust from USF, not Pepperdine.

    @Didi: Dexter Carter is back in the White Sox organization. Now 24 years old, he is still pitching in Low-A ball and still can’t throw strikes.

  6. If only the Braves would have been crazy enough to include Tommy Hanson in the potential Peavy deal in Winter ’08 …

    Unfortunately, not even KT’s trade mojo works on the Jedis in the Braves FO.

  7. I think the Padres made a mistake putting Poreda in the bullpen. There’s been no shortage of fireballers who couldn’t find the plate, but some of them became exceptional after getting lots of work as starters.

    I’m old enough to remember Nolan Ryan’s early years when he gave up more walks than hits. He had Dick Williams as a manager before Dick became a nut about pitchers throwing strikes. Randy Johnson didn’t get his walks per nine down under five until he was nearly thirty. Rick Ankiel is an example of a promising pitcher ruined by the demand that he throw strikes. He attributes his arm injury to the tinkering with his delivery to satisfy LaRussa’s demand that pitchers throw strikes.

    If there’s a good chance they’re going to be busts, let them be starters and forget the pitch count, just give them the chance to throw regularly. Just work on their secondary pitches and pitch sequence. The risk of overwork is no worse than the risk of being a bust, and at least they can’t say they didn’t get the chance to work things out. Who knows, they may develop secondary pitches good enough to make them serviceable pitchers, de-emphasizing the fastball. That won’t happen coming out of the bullpen.

  8. GY, as a Torero like yourself, I say, USF, Pepperdine, meh, who cares? :-)

  9. PF, thanks. I thought there were options which didn’t necessarily mean he was gone, but we had to get him off the 40 man. Guess we’ll see where he ends up.

  10. Thanks Larry! Maybe we “older” guys have more perspective than short term memories or what have you done for me lately! Especially from people who have a chance to “write”, tweet or whatever who have all the answers without having lived a bit or having any perspective other than “what have you done for me lately”?
    It’s not important to you where he went to school unless you attempt to come across as some sort of “expert’! Then you should get what little “facts” you have correct.

  11. @David: I thanked you for correcting my error and made the necessary changes. This conversation is ended.

  12. ooohhh!!! sorry for trying to have an intelligent conversation!!

  13. A little tact goes a long way.

  14. Wow, Dude! Leave the chip at the door.

  15. I’m no expert … and in fact, I’m pretty sure none of us here are, nor have ever thought of ourselves that way … but it was my perception that the Padres traded for Poreda with the hope and expectation that they’d be able to teach him how to pitch … and it’s also my perception, purely anecdotal, that Balsley is above-average at doing just that. Sometimes it takes an obvious tweek, sometimes it takes something more, sometimes we never find out …

    Larry – you may be right … it will be interesting to see if another org gives that a go … sure seems like his pedigree will entice some org to roll the dice …

  16. OT … a commenter at MadFriars is reporting that Didi will soon be happy … Cantu DFA’d!

  17. The Cantu DFA is about time! Are they bringing up Jesus Guzman? If so, be prepared for some not so good defense.

  18. Ah, maybe Guzman will DH during the upcoming interleague games?

  19. OT – Darnell started in LF for AA San Antonio tonight!

  20. @Lynch- Darnell getting time in the OF is great news. They need to find a way to get his bat to the big club. I just wonder how the Padres could get Darnell, Blanks, and Rizzo into the lineup next year, or is someone going to move in a trade?

    If it is Guzman that gets added, that would make sense for DH purposes.

  21. @David: Apology accepted. If you wish to continue participating in the intelligent conversations that we have here, please take a moment to review our Comments Policy. Thanks.

    @LynchMob, @Larry: I hope someone can figure out how to turn Poreda into a successful big-league pitcher. Some guys just take longer, and maybe he is one of them. Other guys, e.g., Oliver Perez, never quite get there.

    @PF: Guzman would be fun; dude can hit. As for defense, he is rough but probably no worse than Cantu. I will miss Cantu’s walkup music… and his parting words — accepting responsibility, praising Anthony Rizzo — win him big points in my book. As with Poreda, I’d love to see Cantu get his career back on track elsewhere.

  22. I would prefer hearing Cantu referred to by his full name, Cannot.

  23. The chances of another club claiming Poreda are pretty thin. Expect to see him clear waivers and be assigned outright to Tucson in a few days.

  24. So it has been written, so it shall be! Announcement from the Padres today confirms his assignment.
    Equally unsurprising news… Patterson cleared as well and has also been assigned to Tucson.