‘Over a Beer and Peanuts’ is a section on The Baseball Opinion where I have a frank question and answer session with a fellow blogger to get their opinion on issues related to the area of baseball that they cover. Steve Adler, over at The Friarhood, has accepted our most recent installment of this posting. His well designed (and written) blog goes into depth on numerous issues related to the San Diego Padres.
1. What are your thoughts on outfielder Kyle Blanks?
This guy is a monster! The issues with Blanks are, if will able to hit anything other than a fast ball and if manager Bud Black will put him in a position in the line up to see fastballs. If Black hits Blanks in front of Adrian Gonzalez, you can bet that Blanks will see plenty of fast balls, if Blanks is buried (protected) in the six or seven spot if could be a rough year for the youngster.
2. How about prospect Matt Latos?
Latos is an ace waiting to happen, but not yet. It sounds more and more like the Latos is going to have to blow everyone else out of the water to earn the #5 spot. I think that the Padres start Mat in AAA because of factors outside of his ability.
3. In limited time at the hot corner last season,posted a nice 4.4 UZR. With Chase likely heading back to his natural position at the hot corner full time next season, do you see him settling in and taking off offensively? This is a make or break year for Headley. The Padres have a lot of organizational depth at 3B, and it’s time to see if Headley can be the savior as he was advertised to fans. I do think that Headleywill hit better this season, but he won’t remind anyone of Ken Caminitti at the plate. Expect Kouzmanoff type numbers with a slightly higher average and OBP.
4. How do you see the starting rotation filling out?
Gallagher or Stauffer (both are out of options)
5. This past year has been tough for Padre faithful. The Padres have decided not to bring back Trevor Hoffman, to trade Jake Peavy, and to replace storied GM Kevin Towers. How do you like new GM Jed Hoyer and his moves so far?
It has been rough on Padres fans, any time you send away players that the fans identify with it hurts. With that said, I think the “Jedi” is doing a great job. The only move that I question is the Yorvit Torrealba move, I would have preferred he went after a better defensive option such as a Rod Barajas. I think I’m nit picking about a back up catcher, otherwise I think Hoyer has done an outstanding job.
6. We can’t have a discussion about the Padres without bringing up Adrian Gonzalez. Do you see him signed long-term or traded? If you see him traded, what team do you believe matches up best with the Padres on such a blockbuster?
This is a question that only Adrian himself can answer. If he is willing to take less than $15M a year, then I do believe something could be worked out, but that’s not what non Padres fans want to hear. How the Padres play will determine if/when AGON is moved, if this team keeps it interesting, which could happen, Adrian will stay the entire season. If not, then he will be moved the team willing to give up the farm, literally! We hear all the chatter from Red Sox fans about how they feel they are entitled to AGON, but sign-ability will not be an issue when the trade happens, I also feel that minor league players from large markets tend to be over hyped. I see the Red Sox, Orioles and Mariners as the strongest candidates at this point. The Padres will be looking for high end arms and major league ready every day players, specifically at Catcher, Shortstop and Center Field.
Thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer some Padres questions today.