Chilly Winter Meetings


Compared with last year, the Padres sailed through these winter meetings fairly quiet on a radar. Jason Marquis was our only key signing but he should be a solid pick up. A tough guy who wants to be in San Diego, and who was willing to pitch with a broken arm last year.  MLB Hot Stove with former Mariner 2B Harold Reynolds, and former Channel 4 Padres play by play commentator Matt Vasgersian interview Josh Byrnes on the final day of the meetings for a recap, and a general Padres talk.

It was a pretty good interview and I enjoyed listening to Josh talk casually about the Padres and revealed some of his feelings and thought processes. The interview starts with a recap of last year, to which Byrnes first cites injuries as the major cause of the slow start, and then begins to cite factors for the team’s turn around. He talked about swapping out middle infield, calling up Grandal, and getting Quentin back. He also credits the bullpen, and emphasized Headley heating up.

MLB Hot Stove projected Padres 2013 lineup:
SS Cabrera
2B Forsythe
3B Headley
RF Quentin
1B Alonso
LF Venable
CF Maybin
C Hundley

Only comment I have, is whether or not Gyorko is given a shot to compete for 2B against Forsythe in Spring Training. Does anyone else think that Jedd Gyorko and Logan Forsythe have very unique sounding names?  They deserve each other.  Here’s to a future Forysthe/Gyorko platoon.  You bet.

At this point, Reynolds interrupts Byrnes and says he doesn’t want to be a Debbie Downer by bringing up Grandal…but does any way. Josh calls it “a big blow” and calls the bad news “a pit in the stomach” Reynolds continues to interrupt, and brings up more bad news in the form of Cashner injury. Byrnes clarifies what happened with Cashner, and says he’s a hunter. While cleaning a carcass with a friend, Cashner cut his throwing thumb and lacerated a tendon, requiring surgery.  Byrnes talks about Cashner as a player who in a short role can throw 100, and that with the Padre payroll, he has to take stab at upside.  Does bring up Cashner having unique talent, but also having yet to establish himself as big leaguer.  Also says that Cashner is tall, and throws with a clean delivery.

Matt V starts to ask Josh about Chase and how’s he’s a home grown talent and not to be traded, at which point Reynolds interrupts again, and talks about Headley wanting 100M. Incidentally, Reynolds was dismissed from ESPN a few years ago for sexual harassment. His official story was that he hugged a female intern.  Josh is captain cool and smiles him off.  Matt V, does some damage control and adds context.  Cites that Headley is “willing to bend over backwards for the you guys.”

Byrnes continues to talk about going forward, and clarifies for the 25 man roster that he expects 18 pitchers, 17 with experience, with rookie Robbie Erlin rounding out the last spot.  Byrnes will continue to look for upgrades, but expects people to return, including players like Leukbe, Blanks, Darnell.  Emphasized games in April count.

Matt V emphasizes the home road HR split of 47 – 74, and queries Josh about the fences. Josh talks about the movement in the left center gap & beach location in right field. Matt V asks how much of this change is a knee-jerk reaction, and questions the science.  Josh empahsized some science, but talks more about the mood and talks about the thought process with special assistants, Loretta, Ausmus, Hoffman. Apparently, they must have all read a previous Chicken Friars post.

Reynolds baits Josh again, and this time about Justin Upton. Josh speaks highly of Justin, and sounds excited and genuinely enamored of his former prospect. Nevertheless, talks about being the current Venable/Deno platoon in RF, and also talks about Rymer Liriano waiting in the wings.  That seems to tip Josh’s hand on the matter.