A Look back and a Look forward – Part III

December 30, 2008

A Position by Position Look at 2008 and My Thoughts About 2009

Part Three – The Bullpen

The Bullpen is even more of a mystery than the starting 5.

Yahoo currently lists it as:
H. Bell (Closer)
C. Meredith
M. Adams
J. Hampson
J. Thatcher
M. Worrell
S. Patterson

Mark Worrell has been a successful minor league pitcher. We will have to see if he can do the job at the major league level. Obviously, Yahoo believes he will make a very weak and shallow bullpen for the Padres. Worrell is best known for his complaining in the press (alot of people say whining) about not being brought up by the Cardinals for more than a few appearances after two years in AAA.

Recently Chris Britton was signed to a minor league deal after being non tendered by the Yankees. Britton is a soft throwing (89-90 mph fastball) fat man (6’3″ and 280 lbs) that has done very well well in the minors.

River Ave Blues has had an ongoing discussion of him that they call “Brittongate” since the Yankees never seemed to be willing to bring him up for more than a cup of coffee regardless of how well he did in the minors.

The Padres also signed another Yankees throwaway, Oneli Perez, to a minor league deal. The much traveled Perez was waived prior to the beginning of the 2008 season by the White Sox, then by the Indians early in the 2008 season then by the Yankeees in June and picked up by the White Sox to finish out the season. He spent parts of the year with the Indians and White Sox AAA teams and the Yankees AA team.

Apparently none of those teams thought much of Perez, so I can’t say what Towers sees in him other than the fact that he is 25 and has fairly decent but not great record as a reliever at AA and below. He has been lit up in AAA giving up 48 hits and 17 BB in 39 innings for 2008.

RotoWorld was not impressed with him either.

“The White Sox were never high on Perez, and they were quick to take him off the 40-man roster after he opened this season with a 9.53 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte. The soon-to-be 25-year-old isn’t known for his conditioning and doesn’t have closer-type potential… he’s struggled in Triple-A for both the White Sox and Indians this season. The Yankees have no shortage of better relief prospects.”

Mike Adams is hurt and not expected back until Mid year at best.

Justin Hampson and Joe “Becky” Thatcher were optioned or out-righted to the minors.

That leaves 4 guys in the pen for 2009 right now with a possible 5th if Britton makes the big league squad.

Of those 4, Worrell has potential but is still unproven at the ML level, Patterson, who got his first taste of the majors in 2008 did well as a Padres in his 3 appearances, but will be 30 next season and Meredith has been struggling.

Kevin Towers has an incredible track record of bringing in relievers for little to nothing that perform well in a Padres uniform, so any of the 3 he signed may just be another diamond in the rough. Or they may be just more coal in our stockings. If nothing else, these three signings give the Padres depth at the minor league level.

We can certainly hope that there are more signings to come.

I’ve had my say. Now what do you think?

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