5 San Diego Padres Who Won’t Make It Through 2014 Spring Training
San Diego Padres: 5 Players Who Won't Make It Through 2014 Spring Training
The San Diego Padres finished another mediocre season at 76-86. They surprisingly finished tied for third in NL West, but they were out of the playoff race long before the trade deadline. The team obviously had struggles with their pitching, which was at one time their strength, but arm injuries decimated a young staff.
The notable in-season move of 2013 was dealing relief pitcher, lefty-specialist Joe Thatcher to the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks for Ian Kennedy. The move added an anchor to the staff, and also reunited Josh Byrnes with another piece of the Diamondbacks organization.
Once the offseason hit for the Padres, they went on a pitchers shopping spree, signing Joaquin Benoit to a two-year deal, strengthening the bullpen. There is still much question as to why pay for and carry two closer-types in the back of the bullpen. So, there is much faith in the current player's ability to produce runs.
The second biggest signing was acquiring Josh Johnson to help the starting rotation. With Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez gone, it looks like Kennedy and Johnson will take their place as the veteran guys setting an example for the kids.
Other smaller moves include dealing Luke Gregerson P, Jesus Guzman OF/IF and Anthony Bass P. There are question marks and needs that must be addressed by the Padres' organization such as lefty in the pen, a productive corner outfielder, and a utility player.
Pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks in Peoria, AZ and the Padres invited 18 non-roster players to spring training, 13 of whom were either drafted by the organization or were signed by the Padres. There will be a lot of familiarity around Peoria. Some of these invitees will the season in farm system and some might not play in a Padre uniform.
So, here are five players who might not fit the Padres’ needs at the moment.
5. Alberto Gonzalez INF
Meh, Alberto Gonzalez was okay during his first time around in 2011, but his production won’t warrant competition for SS or 2B, though the Padres have a need for a super utility player. I don’t expect the Padres to be in need of his services, so they should look to adding Xavier Nady to the big league roster.
4. Blaine Boyer RHP
Blaine Boyer is a journeyman who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 with the New York Mets. His career 4.81 ERA isn’t impressing anybody, so he’s more likely to go to stay a journeyman and find his ways through the minors.
3. Rico Noel OF
It’s nice to have an abundance of outfielders, especially since the projecting starting outfielders would be fourth outfielders everywhere else in the league. Don’t plan on Rico Noel staying on the big league roster, but plan on him being in AA San Antonio.
2. Austin Hedges C
Yasmani Grandal is going to be out until around May, so the Padres are looking to carry three catchers on the 25-man roster. One and two will be Nick Hundley and Rene Rivera, so between Austin Hedges and Cody Decker, it’s a tossup on who stays with the big league club. I'm going to assume Hedges starts in AAA, and will see a call-up in the season.
1. Kevin Quackenbush RHP
Kevin Quackenbush has made his specialty in the back end of the bullpen, whether it was closing with AA San Antonio or the setup guy in AAA Tucson. Benoit and Huston Street look like to have that part of the bullpen in check, so Quackenbush is likely to go AAA El Paso to start the season.