There was a collective sting felt around San Diego when franchise ace Jake Peavy was dealt to the Chicago White Sox last season. It stung even more when he returned from an ankle injury and made three starts for the White Sox, compiling a 3-0 record, 1.35 ERA, and a 0.85 WHIP in 20 innings of work.
Flash forward to 2010 and it has been a tough first two outings for Jake Peavy (8.44 ERA, 1.88 WHIP), allowing seven hits, three runs, and pair of walks to a suspect Cleveland lineup, followed by an eight-hit, seven-run beating by Toronto.
While it wasn't the final result the Padres were looking for Tuesday, a 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, Clayton Richard, the centerpiece of the Peavy trade, was the silver lining delivering his second consecutive solid start.
Richard was in cruise control through five shutout innings, before giving up a two-run double to Brian McCann with one out in the sixth inning. He allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings in his first loss in seven starts at PETCO Park.
Richard has made several large strides after coming to the Padres last season.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound southpaw was highly efficient in his 12 starts in 2009, posting a 5-2 record with a 4.08 ERA. More importantly, the Padres won nine of those twelve games Richard took the hill.
The other player in the trade to crack the 25-man roster is 6-foot-8, 255-pound reliever Adam Russell. Russell had a 3.65 ERA in 15 games with the Padres last season and carried a 2.45 ERA in Spring Training en route to securing one of the final spots in the bullpen.
So far so good in Russell's first two appearances to start the year—in his 3.1 innings of work he has not surrendered a hit and walked just one batter.
The two other pitchers acquired for Peavy—Aaron Poreda and Dexter Carter—both started this season in the minor leagues.
An invite to big league camp, Poreda was part of the team's final round of cuts on March 15. Still a work in talent, the ceiling remains high for Poreda in AA-San Antonio. A first-round draft pick in 2007, Poreda has struggled with command since acquired. His fastball has topped out at 97 mph on the radar gun and he's an imposing frame at 6-foot-6, 240-pounds, but he walked 37 batters in 32 2/3 innings at Portland, five more in 2 1/3 innings with the Padres in '09 and another seven in 2 1/3 innings this spring.
Poreda has logged three scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Double-AA San Antonio Missions in 2010.
Dexter Carter, 23, has started the season with the Single-A Fort Wayne Tin Hats. When the Padres acquired Carter last season, he was leading the Class-A South Atlantic League in strikeouts. He was 6-1 with a 2.23 ERA.
The right-hander has a fastball that averages 90-mph, and improved change-up and a decent curveball, but scouts say Carter needs to be more consistent with his mechanics and arm angle.
While the White Sox know what they received in Jake Peavy, it may be a matter of years before we see how the Carter and Poreda side of the deal pans out. This year, however, the Friars will get a full look at Richard and Russell. So far, you can't help but like what you see.