It was quite an interesting offseason for the Padres this winter. The lovable Heath Bell took his talents to South Beach to play for the Miami (nee Florida) Marlins. Ace Mat Latos was shipped to the Reds for a bundle of prospects, highlighted by first baseman Yonder Alonso. It turned out the Padres already had a young 1B prospect, so he had to go. Was that all?
Well, the team also brought in an honest-to-goodness power bat for seemingly the first time since the Bush presidency (and I’ll let you figure out which Bush), a fallen ace in the Latos deal, and a closer in a contract year. What’s the net effect of all these moves? The fans will wish upon a star for contention in 2012, but this will be a fact-finding year for the organization as they try and set themselves for a run in the near future.
“30 Teams in 30 Days,” the Fantasy Baseball Cafe will preview each team in Major League Baseball on a daily basis. In addition to projecting starting lineups, rotations and closing situations, the Cafe will identify potential targets for 2012 fantasy baseball drafts.
|C Nick Hundley||.288||.347||.477||34||9||29||1||281|
|1B Yonder Alonso||.296||.374||.486||46||12||56||6||358||in AAA|
|2B Orlando Hudson||.246||.329||.352||54||7||43||19||398|
|SS Jason Bartlett||.245||.308||.307||61||2||40||23||554|
|3B Chase Headley||.289||.374||.399||43||4||44||13||381|
|LF Carlos Quentin||.254||.340||.499||53||24||77||1||421||w/CWS|
|CF Cameron Maybin||.264||.323||.393||82||9||40||40||516|
|RF Will Venable||.246||.310||.395||49||9||44||26||370|
Unsettled: No one. The Padres would love to ship either one or both of Orlando Hudson or Jason Bartlett somewhere early in the season and save money, but they’re locked into starting roles while they’re in San Diego. Jesus Guzman was excellent in part-time duty last season and could figure into the mix at first base if Alonso struggles early. Venable will likely be part of a platoon with Chris Denorfia all season. Kyle Blanks could also eventually factor into the outfield picture.
Target: Cameron Maybin. You’d probably be just fine ignoring the Padres lineup in your mixed-league draft this year, but if you’re going to actually pick someone, it should be Maybin. His average is never going to be an asset and he won’t pick up any RBIs, but he can help immensely with stolen bases while maintaining a decent amount of power. If the BABIP fairy strikes, he could end up with a breakout season. Just don’t invest too much; after all, he is a Padre.
|Tim Stauffer (R)||9-12||3.73||1.25||128||53||185.2|
|Cory Luebke (L)||6-10||3.29||1.07||154||44||139.2|
|Dustin Moseley (R)||3-10||3.30||1.28||64||36||120.0|
|Clayton Richard (L)||5-9||3.88||1.42||53||38||99.2|
|Edinson Volquez (R)||5-7||5.71||1.57||104||65||108.2||w/CIN|
Unsettled: The Padre rotation isn’t one to write home about, but they certainly have quite a bit of talent on the way. Robbie Erlin, Casey Kelly and Joe Wieland are all making their way through the Padre system and will be in the rotation sooner or later. Before that happens, Volquez will get a chance to post a nice rebound season, while Moseley and Richard will try and show that they’re more than empty ERAs. If either fail and the kids aren’t ready for the big time, Jeff Suppan and Anthony Bass could factor in.
Target: Cory Luebke. The lefty had a good thing going in the bullpen last season before the team transitioned him to the rotation, where he made 17 pretty good starts. Mix in his 29 relief appearances, and you have a guy that posted a 9.92 K/9, 2.84 BB/9, 1.07 WHIP and 3.02 xFIP. You may think that the elite stats are due to his work in the bullpen, but you’d be wrong. His walk rate was much better as a starter, so even though batters got a few more hits off him, he turned in virtually identical xFIPs in the bullpen (3.00) and in the rotation (3.03). There’s nothing saying he can’t do it again, so feel good about paying a reduced price for a guy that could flirt with a sub-3.00 ERA all year while striking out a batter an inning.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Huston Street (R)||29||3.86||1.22||55||9||58.1||w/COL|
|Andrew Cashner (R)||0||1.69||0.66||8||4||10.2||w/CHC|
Chasing Saves: Street comes in to inherit the San Diego closer gig from a guy that did it pretty well over the last couple years. The former Rockie closer is pretty formidable himself, at least when he can stay on the mound. In his three years in Colorado, he struck out 170 batters in 167.1 innings while walking just 33 guys, good for a 5.15 K/BB rate. So yeah, he’s super talented, and if he can stay healthy, he’ll be a value closer for fantasy teams in 2012. Cashner has an electric fastball and could wind up as the San Diego closer in 2013.
As always, the trick is to avoid as much of the Padre offense as possible in fantasy leagues while mining undervalued pitchers in your drafts and auctions. I’d take a look at Luebke, Street, Tim Stauffer and possibly Edinson Volquez for my fantasy teams. I’d also give the prospects a little love in dynasty leagues. Aside from that, there’s nothing more to see here. Move along.
Check back tomorrow for our preview of the San Francisco Giants as we continue “30 Teams in 30 Days.”
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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