Could changes be in store for Padres? …

Update: Talked to Towers today. If there’s going to be changes, it will be more along the lines of bringing up pitchers from, say, Triple-A Portland. The Padres just don’t have any money to make deals and certainly don’t want to part with any top Minor League prospects.

San Diego general manager Kevin Towers is a pretty amiable guy. He smiles a lot, tells good jokes and tells even better stories.

There has been few times in my three seasons of covering the team when he’s looked visibly angry. I remember he had one last season in May after the team had lost and was 16-30 and looked bad in doing so.

“You’re looking for even a little bit of progress,” Towers said at the time. “It’s like Groundhog’s Day, over and over.”

Towers wore a little bit of that same scowl after Friday’s 8-5 loss to the Dodgers. Granted, it’s now May 1 and the team is 11-11 and by no means out of the race like they were a year ago at this time.

But the message was abundantly clear: Towers doesn’t like what he sees.

I’m sure he didn’t like the fact that despite chasing starter James McDonald from the game after just 1 2/3 innings the Padres couldn’t win. That doesn’t happen often folks. Your starter gets runs early, it usually means a long night.

Or he could be upset that the Padres were handcuffed by Jeff Weaver, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Las Vegas. Weaver, who didn’t pitch at all in the Major Leagues in 2008 after being bounced in Seattle after a bad 2007, tossed four scoreless innings in relief.

Or he probably didn’t like the fact that the Padres were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and that they left 11 runners on base. This was a problem last season and while it has gotten somewhat better in 2009, it’s still an issue.

And he couldn’t have liked the error by Nick Hundley in the seventh inning that allowed the go-ahead run to score on a play where a throw from the outfield got past Hundley and Luke Gregerson, backing up the play.

Of course, I’m sure he didn’t like what he saw from that rebuilt bullpen that shined early in the season but has now fallen on hard times, allowing 26 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings over the eight losses in their last 10 games.

Again, it’s May 1 and I don’t expect Towers to come out and promise changes like he did that day in May a year ago. But, at the same time, I don’t see him sitting around and watching the team struggle like they have (lost eight of past 10 games) either.

What happens next? We’ll see.

Cheers, Corey


Hey Corey talking about changes, what do you think are the top two changes that could be around the corner? Your thoughts.

I hope Mujica is on his way out. Perdomo has done a pretty good job, seems to be getting better with each outing. Maybe Thatcher or Burke get called up?

I’m hoping that right field could end up increasing in batting average because right now it is sitting around .160 thanks to Giles. He is lucky that he was walked twice last night. During the second walk he had he swung and missed miserably and narrowly missed striking out. Where is Giles head? Is he still thinking about his life issues with his girlfriend and the court case? What is he doing? Get rid of him. It seems like every year there is one good player holding the padres back. Last year it started with Edmonds. When we got rid of him, Green was bad as well as second base (the platoons). Now this year we have a guy in the top of the lineup with a .160 average. Giles is ruining us. He needs to be let go or put in the bottom of the lineup along with Kouz until they come out of their slumps. Lineup: Platoon CF (Hairston and Gerut), Eckstein, Headley, Gonzo, Hundley, kouz, L rod, Giles, Pitcher.

I think we definitely need some changes. This team is not working right now, especially on the pitching side. We need some new arms. I think Moreno needs to go. Probably another guy in the bullpen as well. Time to go dumpster diving!

Corey, I think you’ve hit on something. The Padres obviously need pitching help, and KT knows if he’s gonna get it, he has to go outside the organization. But who’s he going to trade? The other day when Bud Black moved Brian Giles to the leadoff spot, it clicked for me. They want the guy to find his stroke so they can trade him. No team keeps its worst batter in front of its cleanup guy for an entire month; it’s like giving away runs. And no team would ever, ever move a .160 hitter to the leadoff spot; that position in the lineup is reserved for your best hitter.

Now, I know you are convinced Giles is a notoriously slow starter, but his lifetime average for the month of April is above .270. And let’s face it, when a guy isn’t hitting, you don’t alternate him between two of the most important slots in the lineup; you put him someplace where his automatic outs won’t kill rallies or cost your team runs.

Bud Black and Kevin Towers are not stupid. They know this, and they obviously have an ulterior motive with Giles. They want to trade the guy for pitching. But like he did last year when he nixed a trade to pennant-contending Boston, Giles is refusing to cooperate.

Petco Park’s right field must be really comfortable.

Can anybody say free fall??!! They are sinking fast! It’s frustrating to see the promising start fade so fast! Peavy, Chris Young, and Heath Bell are the stoppers and we just wasted a Peavy gem!!!!! Sanchez has got to go!! He is so ineffective!!

With this lineup, the only person who should never be asked to sac. bunt is A. Gonzalez. Bud Black needs to realize that this team isn’t a power team and they need to start stealing bases, and playing small ball. I bet statistically if they have a runner on first base with no outs, they hit into more double plays or strikeouts than base hits. That and their middle relief is just horrible.

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