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Padilla Later
2005-12-12 22:11
by Mike Carminati

The Phils today divested themselves of Vicente Padilla and the Flotilla he rode in on, trading their one-time All-Star pitcher to the pitching strapped Rangers for the proverbial player Toby Named-Later. Apparently, Padilla was let go because of a general malaise and, oh yeah, he made $3.2M last year and is due for arbitration.

The Phils don't have many more option than do the Rangers, truthfully. They have Brett Myers, who is coming off a breakout season (122 Adjusted ERA) though he had 4.32 ERA in the second half.

John Lieber was okay (108 Adjusted ERA and 17 wins) and was very good in the second half (3.28 ERA and 9 wins).

Corey Lidle was good in the first half (3.65 ERA) but awful in the second half (6.03 ERA).

Next there's the oft-injured Randy Wolf, the only potential lefty in the rotation, who after three disappointing seasons is basically a big question mark.

Finally, there are youngsters Robinson Tejeda and Eude Brito, who were unexpected successes in limited trials this past season (Tejeda was 8-14 with 5.15 ERA in Double-A in 2004; Brito had a 4.85 ERA in Triple-A before the callup) , and former hot prospect Gavin Floyd, who was a major disappointment last year (6-9 and 6.16 ERA in Triple-A and 1-2 with a 10.04 ERA with the Phils).

That's it.

There doesn't seem to be a real number one among the lot, just a bunch of maybes. Maybe Myers turned a corner. Maybe Lieber will continue his second half success. Maybe Lidle can overcome his horrific second half. Maybe Randy Wolf can be healthy for a full season and maybe he will again draw comparisons to Tom Glavine (when that was a good thing). Maybe Tejeda and Brito are for real. And maybe Floyd will fulfill the promise the franchise once saw in him.

Then again, maybe not. An unhappy scenario is just as likely if not more likely in each scenario.

Padilla was a blight in the Phils rotation for throughout the first half (6.27 ERA, 4-8), but turned the corner just when the Phillies started to notice. He was a respectable 3.63, 5-4 in the second half.

So what's the end result? Does it make sense to weed a bit of the mediocrity by trading Padilla? Sure. Keep it coming. The Phils rotation problems over the last few years stemmed from an overabundance of mediocrity.

But what's the plan? Is there a plan? Does getting rid of Padilla get the Phils any closer to a real rotation? I don't think so. They need to add to the top of the rotation, not skim from the bottom.

The end result one fewer question mark in the rotation and a few million dollars freed up to sign…who? More overprice marginal players—their trend this offseason. Jim Mecir AND Dan Miceli are still available after all.

2005-12-13 06:38:02
1.   djramone
Maybe this clears room for Madsen in the rotation? The whole thing doesn't make much sense to me, though.
2005-12-13 07:11:20
2.   ChuckM
Doesn't make much sense to me-Padilla's first half numbers I think can be attributed to the arm injury (I believe it was a tricep) while the 2nd half would probably be more indicative of his performance going forward. Either way, you should be able to get more for him that that...
2005-12-13 11:43:31
3.   Mike Carminati

I would love Madson in the rotation, but Manuel fell out of love with him last year even in the long reliever role. Those in the braintrust who like him see him as a long reliever.

Also, they are still skiddish from his sole start vs. the White Sox in 2004, which was horrific.


Yep, agreed. That is, unless you are just trying to dump salary irrespective of anything else.

2005-12-13 13:33:25
4.   maynard8
The league's second best offense could use more Padillas, not fewer. Nothing wrong with league average starters when you've got that much hitting-and I expect the attack to only be better in '06, with full years from Utley (unplatooned) and the Big Cat at first, and Bell probably in a platoon with Nunez.

Padilla has never been WORSE than league-average, and he's often been better. Gillick (since the Thome deal) seems to have lost his way, at least if his intention was to improve the pitching, rather than simply lower the payroll.

2005-12-13 22:22:18
5.   das411
4 - But is the pitching really that much worse with Padilla being replaced by some combo of Tejeda, Brito, Floyd and/or Hamels for close to the league minimum instead of Padilla's $4+ mil?

To add yet another Maybe to Mike's list above: maybe removing yet another headcase from the clubhouse (oh, btw, so long Ugueth, take what's left from the Rolen trade with you), the team will be in better shape to avoid the annual 1-7, 1-8 that always seems to happen right around when Padilla loses his focus and blows up.

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