The flirtation with .500 …
Hey, I hate to be a downer here, but, well, I think the Padres flirtation with .500 baseball might be coming to an end.
The strained tendon in pitcher Jake Peavy’s ankle, one that will sideline him until August at the earliest, coupled with the start of Interleague Play, is certainly enough to derail a team that for all of its warts, has been hanging around .500 for most of the season.
Sadly, I don’t see how this current group can play at or stay near the .500 mark without Peavy anchoring the starting rotation. Chris Young, for as dominant as he can be, hasn’t been able to piece together consistent starts in a while while he rest of the rotation, Correia, Gaudin and Geer haven’t shown they can pitch consistently well.
That the Padres are entering a stretch of 14 consecutive games against teams that are from the American League, beginning Saturday, won’t help either. Remember, the Padres were 3-15 last season in Interleague Play and I don’t think it’s any secret that the AL is by far the superior of the two leagues. Better players, better hitters.
Care to guess what the Padres record will be by July 1? It might not be pretty, though I do think there are ways to help the team stay close to .500. Here’s a few thoughts.
* When Everth Cabrera comes off the disabled list Friday, stick the 22-year-old in the starting lineup at shortstop and leave him there. I think we can all agree that Cabrera has the most upside of any of the shortstops the Padres have used this season and he represents the future for the team at that position. You didn’t sacrifice a spot on the 25-man roster because you think he’s a nice guy. He’s hitting during his Minor League rehab stint and his defense is better than anything yo have going. Everth Cabrera, your starting shortstop.
* Also, promote Minor League pitcher Mat Latos, who is considered the prized arm of the farm system. Yes, he’s 21 and doesn’t have a vast Minor League resume. You know who else did not? Jake Peavy, who jumped from Double-A to the Major Leagues. Latos is someone who might grow bored with the Minor Leagues and I believe you have to keep pushing these guys to see what they can handle. He’s 6-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two Minor League stops with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 48 innings. He’ll be here and it will be before September.
* Promote outfielder Drew Macias from Portland and work him into your outfield rotation with Headley, Hairston (when he returns from the disabled list) and Giles (leaving TGwynn alone in center, I like what he brings). I would say even give him some of the at-bats Giles was getting. Give him some of the at-bats Headley is getting. Macias is an athlete, is a good defender and can hit. I don’t know if he’ll ever be an everyday player, but he deserves a longer look.
In case you’re wondering, I’m close on calling for Kyle Blanks to be promoted. He’s hitting .343 this month and has his average back up to .271. He’s hitting with power, taking walks and has played 13 games in left field. If you promote Blanks, he’s coming up here to play every day, not sit on the bench. That means a dramatic shift in personel. I don’t think the Padres are quite there yet.
Anyway, a few ideas on a day where I got to the ballpark here in Anaheim way too early. Let me know what you think.