Jun 29, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres second basemanIrving Falu
follows through during an at bat during the first inning Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Irving Falu‘s Padres career didn’t last very long. The utility infielder joined the team on June 26th this year after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers to help fill the void left by injuries to both Jedd Gyorko and Everth Cabrera. Unfortunately, this marriage came to end yesterday when he was claimed back off waivers by the Brewers.
It isn’t hard to see why Falu keeps finding himself on the waiver wire. The 31 year old who is in his 3rd season went 0 for 10 while with the Brewers and then 3 for 20 while in San Diego. He has driven in a run on a sac fly, but that’s about the extent of his success. He would have scored a run in his time in San Diego if not for missing third base when heading home. That horrendous mistake will be the one notable moment in his Padre career.
After his subpar play it was easy to find to replacements. Brooks Conrad who has dominated at AAA this year and rising prospect Jace Peterson are both better fits than Falu in the infield. With Peterson, he gets a chance to grow and learn how to play in the big leagues while Conrad played his way out of El Paso. Neither has done much to prove they’re much better than Falu, but they’re not any worse.
To replace Falu, the Padres have selected the contract of Chris Nelson. Nelson is a 4 year veteran who was a first round selection by the Colorado Rockies in the 2004 draft. He hasn’t lived up to the hype of the 9th overall pick, but has proven to be a reliable bat of the bench. Last year his numbers hit career lows after being bounced around between the Rockies, Yankees and Angels.
In AAA this year he’s hit .279/.355/.389, but since joining the Chihuahuas his play has picked up dramatically. In El Paso he’s hitting .293/.422/.463. This should be taken with a grain of salt though because of the hitter friendly parks that are in the Pacific Coast League. In his minor league career he’s played all over the infield and outfield, so they versatility will come in handy.
It’ll be hard for Nelson to be any worse than Falu was, and maybe Nelson could take the second base job and run with it while we await Gyorko’s return like I thought both Falu and Conrad could. As long as he hit hit above the Mendoza line he’ll stick, unlike Falu.