A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE PADRES
I don't get what they're doing in San Diego. What's the plan? They desperately need offense, and Chase Headley emerged last year as a star to build around—and [G.M.] Josh Byrnes put him on the trade block. Meanwhile they've signed all these other players—Nick Hundley, Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin—to long-term deals.... Maybin is never going to be the star people thought he'd be. If you had a tryout camp, ran him in the 60, had him throw and hit BP, you'd think you had the greatest player in the world—but his tools don't translate. He doesn't have the best pitch recognition, and sometimes it looks like he can't even see the ball.... Headley's second half last year [23 home runs] was a total shock—he's always been a tough out but had never shown power. I'd say he's somewhere between what he was before the outburst and that performance, but you wonder how his injured thumb [he'll miss the first two weeks of the season] will affect him.... If Everth Cabrera puts the ball in play, he's really dangerous with his speed. But he has too big a swing and misses too much for a leadoff guy.... With [manager] Bud Black and [pitching coach] Darren Balsley, they're always prepared. Black manages the bullpen as well as anyone—if they have you by one run after seven innings, it's game over.... They have some rotation pieces on the way: Joe Wieland, Andrew Cashner and Cory Luebke are going to be good. And Edinson Volquez could be a legit No. 1. Their pitching will keep them in games, but there's just no offense, yet again. Best case is that they pass Arizona and finish third.
2013 Projected Statistics
MANAGER BUD BLACK
Seventh season with the Padres
NEW ACQUISITION (R) ROOKIE
LINEUPS AND STAT PROJECTIONS BY ROTOWIRE.COM
The K Meter
Percentage of 2012 plate appearances that ended with a strikeout, and major league rank
BY HITTERS | 20.3% | 16TH
BY PITCHERS | 19.6% | 16TH
A cadre of unheralded and overachieving talent makes a surprise (though unsuccessful) run at the NL West title.
Headley's power returns to '11 levels, Quentin and Street can't avoid injuries, and they battle with Colorado for the cellar.
Joe Lemire has more on the Padres at SI.com/mlb
The Padres love Carlos Quentin's bat—he hit 16 homers and had a .504 slugging percentage in 340 plate appearances last year—so much that they signed him to a three-year contract extension last summer. Perhaps they thought the National League was about to adopt the DH. This spring underscored the key problem with the signing: Quentin can't stay on the field. Since his breakthrough 2008 with the White Sox, he has averaged 108 games per season and just 768 innings a year in the field, about half a season. And with 10 days to go before Opening Day, Quentin hadn't played an inning of defense as he nursed his right knee back from the two surgeries he underwent in 2012. Given his history, age (30) and size (235 pounds), there's no reason to think he can carry the workload of an everyday corner outfielder. The Padres should look to trade him to an AL team so he can DH at least some of the time—perhaps the injury-riddled Yankees would swing a deal. In San Diego, Quentin can only be a part-time player.
DENIS POROY/GETTY IMAGES (MAYBIN)
BRAD MANGIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (QUENTIN)