I love to keep up with the national perception of the Padres, so when I saw that Ken Rosenthal, in his Fox Sports column, mentioned them, I paid close attention:
The Cardinals visited San Diego just before Los Angeles, and one of their veterans remarked to me that the Padres were an enigmatic bunch, difficult to figure out. Specifically, he talked about right fielder Will Venable, raved about his tools and said, “Why isn’t he better?”
Venable, 30, is one of those players whose skills lag behind his tools, perhaps because he played basketball at Princeton. But the Padres actually are getting decent production in right from Venable, Denorfia and Kyle Blanks — entering Monday’s play, they ranked seventh in the NL in OPS at that position, and sixth in the league in runs per game.
The offense, which improved in the second half of last season, is only getting better — shortstop Everth Cabrera is turning into a legitimate player, second baseman Jedd Gyorko is a Rookie of the Year candidate. The Padres’ bigger problem is their lack of a stopper in their rotation. And, as a low-revenue club, they can’t afford to risk big money on one in free agency.
Right-hander Edwin Jackson visited the Padres last off-season; he had previously pitched for GM Josh Byrnes and VP A.J. Hinch in Arizona. But there was no way the Padres could spend $52 million on Jackson — and no way they should have spent that much on a pitcher who has started his Cubs career 1-7 with a 6.11 ERA.
At some point, the Padres will need to develop another Mat Latos, who they traded for right-hander Edinson Volquez, first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and reliever Brad Boxberger in Feb. 2011. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the team to compete successfully in the NL West.
Pretty standard stuff here… no shockers. In summary, Padres are getting good production out of a platooning right field, it was smart not to sign Edwin Jackson for a butt-load of money, Cabrera is a legit shortstop, Gyorko is a ROY candidate, the Padres need another Latos, Will Venable sucks at baseball because he played basketball at Princeton a decade ago. Wait, what?
That’s how I read it… some unnamed Cardinals player says Will’s got great tools, but asks, “Why isn’t he better?” Ken’s answer? Venable’s “skills lag behind his tools, perhaps because he played basketball at Princeton.” Now, obviously I’m paraphrasing/projecting, and Rosenthal is just throwing out a theory here, but it seems a little far-fetched to me, no? What do you guys think? REACT TO ME, PADRES FANS!