It was another season, and another down year for Jered Weaver in 2016. The former ace continued his rapid decline, as he saw his fastball continue to decrease in velocity, his ERA jump to 5.06, and his HR/9 skyrocket to 1.9. Even his typically-excellent control was lacking, as his 2.6 BB/9 was nearly a full walk higher than 2015. If one positive can be taken from 2016, it's that the veteran managed to stay healthy for almost the entire season, with his only hiccup being a lower-back injury he sustained in his final start of the season. That being said, Weaver's tenure in Anaheim is likely over, and considering his rough performance as of late (with his peripherals actually signaling that things could have been worse), it'll be tough for him to garner a large role no matter where he lands in free agency. The 34-year-old seems to be destined for a long relief role unless a struggling team is in the market for a veteran rotation presence.
Contrary to an earlier report, Weaver will start San Diego's fourth game of the season. Earlier, the Padres mistakenly reported that Weaver would start their third game of the upcoming campaign. Although Weaver will still face the Dodgers when he makes his season debut, it will be one day later than was initially indicated.
Weaver will start the third game of the season, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Dennis Lin reports. He will take the hill on April 5 in Dodger Stadium despite logging just 5.1 innings to date this spring and having dealt with dead arm in his last start on Mar. 22. Weaver should be avoided in almost all formats, and projects to be one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball this season.
Weaver said he's "dealing with a little dead arm," but doesn't expect it to impact his status for the opening series, A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Weaver has apparently had the same issue multiple times before, so it doesn't seem like it's anything overly serious. Assuming it's the same issue he's dealt with in the past, it doesn't appear that he's in jeopardy of missing his first start of the season, but it's something worth monitoring.
Weaver is in the running to make the Padres' Opening Day start, A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Of course, manager Andy Green added Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard and "others" to the mix, per Cassavell, so this situation remains messy. Weaver could benefit from his move to the National League, but he's been so hittable the last few years that it may not matter.
Weaver made his first Cactus League appearance in a San Diego uniform Monday. He tossed two innings of one-run ball while allowing four hits and striking out one in a win over the White Sox. The Padres brought Weaver in to shore up a poor rotation. The move to pitcher-friendly Petco Park improves his prospects slightly, but the soft-tossing righty doesn't have enough velocity (84.0 mph average fastball velocity in 2016) to generate enough strikeouts (5.2 K/9). At this point of his career, Weaver relies on keeping opposing hitters off-balance by using his off-speed pitches (66.8 percent) more than his diminishing fastball (33.2 percent). He has the moxie to churn out some quality starts this year, but outside of the deepest formats, he is simply too risky to be relied upon outside of spot starts.