A trip to the disabled list is usually just that. Nothing more. Yet, sometimes a trip to the DL can
signify the end. Maybe a player suffers a career-ending injury. Maybe the injury carries a player through the rest of the season and that player can’t make a roster the following season. These things happen, but usually a trip to the DL mean we’ll see the player in a few weeks. For Jason Bartlett, it may mean goodbye.
If Bartlett reaches 432 plate appearances, an automatic option kicks in giving him a spot on the Padres roster in 2012 and a check for $5.5 million. I’ve yet to meet the person in San Diego that wants that to happen. I’ve yet to meet the person around baseball that thinks it would be good for the Padres if it did happen. So now, with Bartlett on the disabled list and both Everth Cabrera and Alexi Amarista on the big league roster, we may have seen the last of the once-promising shortstop.
Josh Byrnes admitted to making the decision to release Orlando Hudson weeks ago. With an out-of-nowhere injury to Bartlett and the subsequent trip to the disabled list, it seems Byrnes has made up his mind on him too. The fact is, Bartlett has been worse this year than Hudson. His defense has been a shell of what it once was, and he simply can’t hit the ball anymore. I’ve wrote before that cutting ties now will actually save the club money despite what they will owe him over the rest of the season. His play costs the Padres on the field, and his potential 2013 contract would cost the team so much more.
The Padres have nothing left to play for. Unless they suddenly rattle off 15-straight wins, they won’t be anywhere close to competing. With that said, they can let the younger players play and wait out the growing pains of youth. They can’t wait out the pains of veteran failure. The time to move on is now.
To commemorate what I think was Bartlett’s last game, here is his line from that night (5/14/12):
0 for 2, BB, SO – season average: .133