Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The first shoe has dropped.
Josh Byrnes’ tenure has ended as the Padres’ General Manager, and now it gets really interesting.
In particular respect to Alonso and Grandal, they were the keystones in one of the biggest trades under Byrnes’ tenure, when he traded Mat Latos to get them and unsteady Edinson Volquez, already released last year by the team.
He gave them a chance to play everyday, and for the most part (definitely 2014), it has been an unmitigated disaster with them in the lineup. Will the GM firing be a fire lit under the current players on the team, or will be a sign of waiving the white flag? Or will the same underachieving team show up day in and day out? We will find out in the next 30+ days and see who is left standing.
Meanwhile, there is some real baseball to be played. Monday started with the Padres already finding out some bad news as Andrew Cashner heads back to the DL for second time this season.
The Padres head up to play three in San Francisco to start the week. The Giants have been struggling of late, but are still hanging on to first place by 4 games over the hard-charging Dodgers, who the Padres played admirably, but only won 1 out of 3. It will be interesting to see how new Cuban import Odrisamer Despaigne fares in his MLB debut. Yet another Padres starting pitcher in 2014.
After a day off Thursday, they return back home to Petco for a three-game set with the currently last-place Diamondbacks. The early rumor is that Kevin Towers might be the front-runner to return to the Padres GM Chair as his own Arizona Diamondbacks continue their season-long slump, and he has his own “new sheriff in town” to deal with in Tony La Russa, who cannot be pleased with the performance he sees.
Player to Watch:
This could go to a number of the under-performers on this team, but in particular Yonder Alonso should be feeling the heat. Again, he and Mr. Grandal are the faces of the bad trades under the departed Josh Byrnes, and as Tommy Medica continues to improve, he can continue to make a case for more playing time. It will also be interesting to see if Bud Black alters his starting lineups now that Byrnes is gone, and he may not feel as obligated to play certain players every night because of his GM’s wishes? Of course, as has been re-iterated, if he had better options to choose from, he would already be doing it. Choosing between a .180 and a .220 hitter is not exactly much of a choice to make.
2-4 I see a sweep at the hands of the Giants, but recovering to win 2 of 3 from the D-Backs this weekend.