Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Pre-All Star Break Grades

As we head into the home stretch of the 2011 season, let's take a moment to grade the roster through 92 games.

A:  Mike Adams, Heath Bell, Aaron Harang, Chase Headley, Tim Stauffer.  Hard to rank Bell anything below A as the lone Padre All-Star in 2011.  He's had a lot of tightrope saves this season, but the bottom line is he's blown only opportunity to save a game in 2011 - and that one is the only one he's blown in 12 months.  Mike Adams remains unhittable in 2011.  Harang has reinvented himself as top-shelf pitcher, and leads the team in wins.  Headley has broken out this season, he's the best hitter on the team by OPS+.  Stauffer has become the Padres ace, and picked off where he left off in 2010.

B:  Cameron Maybin, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Denorfia, Cory Luebke, Dustin Moseley, Luke Gregerson.  Broken out thus:
  • B+:  Maybin, Denorfia, Luebke
  • B:  Moseley, Gergerson, Ludwick
Maybin has exceeded expectations at the plate, and played a stellar CF.  Denorfia has also exceeded expectations at the plate, and ill-timed dives aside has been a capable corner outfielder.  Luebke probably deserved a 'A' rating - he was fantastic out of the bullpen, and lights-out on the mound.  Just a revelation this season.  Moseley has pitched very well as a starter, better than expected when we got him.  Gregerson has been as dependable as ever, although his success is completely predicated on how well he controls his slider.  Ludwick?  Ryan Ludwick is the lightning rod on this team.  He has hit a little worse than his career average but has been the best hitter on the club at driving in runs.  His defense has largely been fine, but when he makes a mistake it's a spectacular one.

C:  Ernesto Frieri, Mat Latos, Chad Qualls, Josh Spence, Rob Johnson, Nick Hundley, Kyle Phillips, Anthony Rizzo.  Broken out thus:
  • C+:  Latos, Qualls, Spence, Phillips
  • C:  Rizzo, Johnson
  • C-:  Hundley
Latos has regressed from his impressive 2010, but we had to expect some slip given his high innings load and the league having an entire off-season to analyze his pitching patterns.  He has been equal parts spectacular and awful in 2011.  Qualls is a professional reliever and has pitched as we expected.  Spence has been awesome so far but he's only thrown 8 innings, so it's hard to rate him higher.  Kyle Phillips is a plugger and has been a good addition to the team while Nick Hundley nurses his various injuries.  Johnson has been average.  Rizzo has been adjusting to major league pitching, which is exactly what we should have expected once the club called him up.  Hundley is below average because he quit hitting after the third week in April and has spent significant time injured this season.

D:  Jason Bartlett, Orlando Hudson, Alberto Gonzalez, Will Venable, Brad Hawpe.  Bartlett - very little production at the plate, too many errors.  Hudson - very little production at the plate, too many injuries.  Al. Gonzalez swings at too many bad pitches.  Venable was so bad he got sent down for a time.  Hawpe strikes out too much.

Incomplete:  Anthony Bass, Luis Martinez, Jesus Guzman.  Not enough playing time.

Tonight the Padres play the first of 70 remaining games in 2011.  At 40-52, their odds of making the playoffs are virtually nil. There will be changes coming to the roster, and we'll chronicle them here.  Podcast tonight if you have time after the game.

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