Blog Entry

Padres must cull outfielders

Posted on: November 14, 2010 2:43 pm
Tony Gwynn Jr. With Cameron Maybin coming to San Diego, the Padres now have too many outfielders and not enough spots.

Ryan Ludwick, Tony Gwynn Jr. (pictured), Chris Denorfia and Scott Hairston are all arbitration eligible and at least two of those four will be non-tendered by the Padres, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes .

The Padres have said they'd like to keep Ludwick around. San Diego traded for Ludwick at the trade deadline, but he struggled in San Diego. After hitting .281/.343/.484 with 11 home runs in 312 plate appearances for the Cardinals, then hit .211/.301/.330 with six home runs in 239 plate appearances. He made $5.45 million last season and 2011 will be his final year of arbitration.

Gwynn, of course, is the son of Padres legend Tony Gwynn. He also came to San Diego via trade, from the Brewers before the 2009 season. Gwynn is arbitration-eligible for the first time and is coming off a season where he hit just .204/.304/.287 with three home runs and 17 stolen bases. All of his stats were down from 2009, when he hit .270/.350/.344.

Denorfia was in his first season with the Padres and hit .271/.335/.433 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 317 plate appearances and played all three outfield spots. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this season, as well.

The Padres traded Hairston to Oakland in 2009, only to bring him back to San Diego before the 2010 season. Hairston hit .210/.295/.346 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 336 plate appearances. He will be a free agent after 2011.

When you look at the Padres outfielders that way, it makes more sense why they'd want Maybin, who has been a disappointment thus far, but still should be able to look good relative to most of those other statistics. Bud Black deserves more than the National League Manager of the Year Award for nearly leading that team to the playoffs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2010 5:37 pm

Padres must cull outfielders

Considering scrappy outfielders who are looking for a place to play are sprinkled throughout the minor league and the backend of ML 25-man rosters, the Padres should consider blowing out three of the four holdovers from last year.  Beyond keeping Ryan Ludwick who has a decent track record and the recently-acquired Cameron Maybin who has tremendous upside and a low salary, none of the others are really worth keeping around.

Unfortunately, Tony Gwynn doesn't seem to have the tools his father has.  He plays more like his uncle, Chris, who struggled to keep a job in the Majors.  Hometown boy, yes.  Player worth keeping on the payroll, no.

Scott Hairston shows flashes of ML skill but shows far more quadruple-A skill.  If you want him as a utility player, jack-of-all-trades type off the bench, I can live with that.  As a player fighting for a spot in the starting lineup, forget it.  He's not good enough.  I don't even think he really is good enough to be a fourth outfielder covering for injuries and rest days.

Chris Denorfia is 30 years old and hasn't quite seem to put all the skills needed together at any one time.  I thought he was a streaky player after his early-season call up last year.  Again, if you want him as a fourth-outfielder who can fill any spot during injuries to the starting three, okay.  Otherwise, keep looking for something better.

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