Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Beef With Bud Black

Not this year, Buddy
The San Diego Padres have gotten off to a horrendous 20-30 start.  I had the Padres winning 83 games at the start of the season, so they have grossly underachieved, at least by the expectations I had.  The Padres have been the worst offensive team in baseball this year, as they are dead last in average, and slugging percentage.

I am not one of those dopey fans who calls for the heads of the manager.  Overall, I think Bud Black is a good manager.  He took the Padres within one game of the playoffs last year, and deserved the extension he received.  This Padres team is devoid of offense talent.  When your hitting Orlando Hudson and Nick Hundley in the middle of your order, you know things are going to be rough.

I do however, loathe the way Bud has managed this team.  I do not like the way he has set his lineups.  Ryan Ludwick has seemed to produce much more when he hits lower than 4th, leave him down there.  The recently departed Will Venable has great wheels, but really had no business leading off.  His most egregious of errors however, is his aversion to playing rookies.

When Orlando Hudson hit the DL earlier in the month, the Padres brought up Logan Forsythe, an infielder, and one of the organizations top minor league players.  He was a former 1st rounder, and put up a .388 OBP in AAA Tucson.  Naturally, a team with no other viable options, wouldn't bring up a kid to ride the pine, right?  Well Forsythe made one whole start in two weeks, and went hitless in eight at-bats.  The Padres chose to play Alberto Gonzalez and Eric Patterson at 2nd, both players are fringe minor leaguers at best.  I was floored that Forsythe was never given a shot to see what he can do in the big leagues.

The Padres also recently purchased the contract of Blake Tekotte, a 3rd rounder back in '08.  Tekotte was playing in AA San Antonio, where he posted a solid line of .291/.410/.486, and had 14 steals in 16 attempts.  He was not on the 40 man roster, so the Padres parted ways with Samuel Deduno, a pitcher who cracked the opening day lineup.  The Padres have minor league outfielders Luis Durango, Aaron Cunningham, and Cedric Hunter on the 40 man roster already, and all have seen big league action recently.  The Padres chose Tekotte, because he profiled the best defensively.

Tekotte has seen one at-bat in the three games that he has been in San Diego.  Clearly, he was not brought up to play, so why waste the roster space on him.  He should be getting at-bats somewhere, be it in AA, or in the big leagues.  A 23 year old, who hasn't even seen AAA, should not be riding the pine.  It just a waste to not be giving him regular at-bats.

I believe that Buddy Black is the right manager for this team, I just wish he would let the kids play in this lost season.

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