Right now, Bud Black isn’t saying how many pitchers he’ll be keeping when the Padres break camp but he’s hinted it may be as many as twelve. The next question is, which 12 pitchers will make it. This MLB article goes through all of the candidates but you has as many as 20 guys vying for 12 spots when probably nine or ten of those are already locked. Regardless, some good, healthy competition is good and if it gets us the best 12 guys, I’m all for it.
Baseball America recently unveiled their list of the top ten Padres prospects. Coming in at number one is outfielder Cedric Hunter, who was chosen in the third round of the 2006 draft. Hunter had a solid season playing rookie ball and he should take the next step and play at Low A in 2007.
Number two is Cesar Carrillo, who’s getting close to being major league ready. With the Padres solid rotation pretty much set, there’s not a lot of room for Carrillo. In addition, he’s coming off of elbow problems so how he does at Portland this year might determine whether we see Carrillo as a Padre in the second half of 2007.
Number three is last year’s first round draft pick, thirdbaseman Matt Antonelli. This is a guy who can play a lot of positions and he’ll get to show his stuff High A this year.
Kevin Kouzmanoff and Will Venable round out the top five. Overall though, this is a pretty solid crop of prospects and it should be interesting to see how they all do in the minors in 2007.
Greg Maddux threw for the first time in Padres uniform in today’s workout. It sure would be nice if the Padres helped Maddux win 17 in 2007, which would push him to 350 career wins.
The Padres will probably live and die by their starting rotation in 2007. They have some other nice parts, but the strength of this team is the front end pitching. And none of these pitchers, including Jake Peavy, could have more of an impact on how well the team does then future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
NBCsports.com likes the $10 million deal and likes the rock solid dependability that Maddux brings to the rotation. Plus, you have a mentor to help out the younger guys. Could you imagine how well Jake Peavy would throw if he had half of Maddux’s control? Well hopefully he’ll be teaching the youngster his tricks.
PECOTA projects more of the same from Maddux. His weighted mean average comes in with a 1.26 WHIP and a 3.90 ERA. They only have him throwing 162 innings though, which I think is a bit low. Regardless, you know what you get with Maddux, and that’s a guy who will keep you in just about every ball game he throws in. The question will be whether the run support is there to get him yet another 15 win season.
Solid pitching and mediocre hitting is what seems to define the San Diego Padres. No Padre has hit more then 25 homeruns in a season in the past two years depite the team walking away with two division titles. As this Padres preseason preview discusses in more detail, 2007 will be more of the same.
There’s no doubt the Padres have a solid, it old, rotation. Adding Greg Maddux was huge but a healthy and more consistent Jake Peavy would go a long way towards the Padres winning a third straight NL West title.
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