Padres Weekend Roundup: Porcello, Garcia, Tommy John Curse


September 21, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Casey Kelly (49) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT

This past weekend, the Padres lost to the Mariners 1-3 on Friday and were out-slugged by the Rockies 4-10 on Saturday, but did manage to cap the weekend off with a 6-4 win over the Brewers on Sunday. As the season opener for the Padres begins one week from today at Citi Field in New York, the Padres continue to make cuts and fine tune the roster, while even considering making some late additions.

No to Porcello?

It was rumored earlier last week that Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes declined multiple deals that would have brought Detriot Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello to San Diego, in exchange for either Padres closer Houston Street or reliever Luke Gregerson.  I can see both sides of why this deal should and should not have been made, but I tend to think it was silly not to make this deal, if it was in fact offered. This was an opportunity to solidify a spot in the rotation with a proven big-leaguer, in a time when the Padres are seemingly scrambling to find a desirable 5th starter. It’s also not as if Gregerson or Street are the one piece that the Padres need to keep in order to compete for a World Series this season. The Padres have always been able to churn out solid bullpen arms and bring in average guys via free agency or trade that become above-average when they arrive in San Diego.  And while Street in particular has been a good closer in the past, his health is a major concern; what good is he if he can’t stay on the field? I guess Byrnes thinks that messing up the bullpen this close to the start of the season would be too damaging, and potentially having guys like Tyson Ross in the rotation is an adequate alternative. Or if the Padres are out of contention come the trade deadline, Byrnes probably figures he would be able to get a bigger haul back for either Street or Gregerson than Rick Porcello, similar to the Mike Adams deal in 2011.

Adios Garcia

Speaking of starting pitching, it was a woefully bad spring for right-hander Freddy Garcia and the Padres finally cut ties with the 36-year-old over the weekend.  Garcia had posted an ERA of 8.77 in 20 2/3 innings so far this spring and apparently that was enough of a sample size. Garcia was competing for a spot in the back of the rotation, but now it seems that the door is open for Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and perhaps even Eric Stults to see innings once the season starts. While Ross has been very effective lately, I’m hoping Cashner gets the job.  Let’s see what this flame-thrower can do with a full-time gig in the rotation.

Tommy John Curse?

With the recent news that Padres pitcher Casey Kelly will need Tommy John surgery, it begs the question; what in the world is going on? Just in the past year, pitcher Cory Luebke, pitcher Joe Wieland, outfielder Rymer Liriano, and now pitcher Casey Kelly (there might be more, feel free to add any names in the comments), will be sidelined because of the reconstructive elbow surgery known as “Tommy John.” I realize that this surgery is becoming more and more common-place around the league, but all four of these players are thought to be significant pieces to the Padres future. It not only disrupts the timeline of these guys contributing at the major league level (each player will be out 12-18 months because of the surgery), but it also screws up the organizational plan for when the Padres are projecting to truly being able to compete year in and year out, which affects future signings, trades, and other moves the organization might make.  Perhaps the Padres are plagued by “The Curse of Tommy John?”