This article was first published on Friar Forecast
The past two days I presented the position players on my “Padres All Performance Enhancer Team.” Today we discuss the pitchers…
As a reminder: I am not necessarily claiming these players definitively took steroids, HGH, or any other performance enhancing substance.
Eligibility for this “team” has no specific conditions. My selections are based on fan speculation, written reports (The Mitchell Report, as well as media reports-possibly unsubstantiated), dramatic hat size increases, and my own opinion. This three-part series is intended to be somewhat humorous, and should not be cited in any any serious steroid discussion.
Starting Pitcher: Kevin Brown
Brown spent only one season in San Diego, but made a definite impact while he was there. He anchored the 1998 staff, helping the Padres win the National League pennant.
After the 1998 season, Brown signed a seven-year, $105 million contract with the Dodgers, becoming the first player in major league baseball to receive a contract totaling more than $100 million.
Injuries plagued Brown throughout that contract.
To the surprise of few, Brown was cited in the Mitchell Report as a possible steroid user.
Lefty Specialist: Ron Villone
Villone threw 18.33 innings for the Padres in 1996. According to the Mitchell Report, Villone purchased steroids from Kirk Radomski on a number of occasions starting in 2004.
Set-Up Guy: Clay Hensely
In 2005, Hensley threw 42.66 innings of lights out relief (1.70 ERA) for the Padres.
Earlier in that season, while still in the minor leagues, Hensley was suspended 15 games for ”using performance enhancing substances.”
Closer: Matt Herges
In 2003, Herges picked up three saves for the Padres. The next season, he saved 23 games for the Giants.
Herges was cited in the Mitchell Report.
Saves+Mitchell Report=Padres Performance Enhancer Team Closer.
Okay, I admit, this list was pretty lame. Brown was an obvious choice, but of these players, only Hensley spent more than one season on the Padres.
We know pitchers have used performance enhancers, but guessing which ones were using is a lot more difficult than doing the same for position players. That is why I only included pitchers who have either tested positive for PEDs, or were named in the Mitchell Report.
Captained by third baseman Ken Caminiti, this team is not half bad.
The infield (3B-Cami, SS-Sheffield, 2B-Boone, 1B-Nevin, C-Santiago) has some serious pop, as does the outfield of Vaughn (LF), Rivera (CF)*, and Giles (RF).
*When doing research for this piece, I was amazed to discover that Ruben Rivera hit 23 home runs in 475 plate appearances in 1999. He never learned how to hit a curve ball or take a walk, but his bat did contain some pop.
Starting pitching is also a relative strength, as Kevin Brown, when he was healthy, was pretty darn good.
That said, this team is terrible defensively (Sheffield at short), does not run the bases well, and has a horrendous bullpen (Hensley, Villone, and Herges).
I wonder how it would stack up to the “All Performance Enhancer Teams” of other major league clubs.