Do the San Diego Padres Need a Shake-up?

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IApril 28, 2009

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 05:  Manager Bud Black of the San Diego Padres looks on from the dugout during the spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium on March 5, 2009 in Surprise, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Padres 4-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After the Padres split a four game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers to start the 2009 season, they went on a run that included winning seven of their next nine games.

And that's where the fun has ended.

Since their 9-4 start, the Padres have dropped six of their last seven that have included back-to-back bad starts for Jake Peavy—giving up six runs in just five innings in his last start against the Pirates.

Not to mention Chris Young's worst outing of his career, giving up eight runs in just three innings of work on Monday night in Colorado against the Rockies.

With the Padres currently sitting at 10-10, fans are becoming more and more frustrated with this team. Could it be time for a shakeup in San Diego?

Padre fans remember all the rumors that were flying around about Jake Peavy being traded to the Atlanta Braves and then the Chicago Cubs, but both trade possibilities fell by the wayside. As much as I hate to admit it, but I've started to wonder who the Padres would have gotten in return had they shipped Peavy to Chicago and gotten that deal done during the off season.

With Peavy struggling in his last two outings, I wonder if he is doing this team more harm than good by keeping him around.

I have to admit that I was one of the those fans who thought it was deplorable that Kevin Towers and the Padres' brass were even looking into the possibility of trading the young right hander.

Now, I'm not so sure they shouldn't have made that move.

This team has the offense to win games—they've proved that time and time again this season and they continue to put up runs—but it's their pitching that continues to lose leads and thus lose games.

Padres' closer Heath Bell seems to be the only one that has been effective over their first 20 games, saving seven of those games in seven chances. The only other guy out of the bullpen that has the same kind of effectiveness is sidewinder Cla Meredith, although Luke Gregerson has really impressed over his ten relief appearances sporting a 2.25 ERA as well.

The problem with trading Peavy now is this: the Padres won't get near as much back for him now as they would have in November or December, especially not after his back-to-back rough starts.

The Braves and Cubs openly stated that the Padres were asking for too much in return, reportedly asking for five or six prospects, something they won't get close to now.

One team that is desperate for pitching is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

If Kevin Towers is smart, I'd be on the phone working a deal to send Peavy just an hour up the freeway from San Diego to Anaheim. In return the Padres could possibly receive infielder Brandon Wood, currently riding the pine in Anaheim, outfielder Reggie Willits in Triple-A Salt Lake or maybe Gary Mathews Jr., if the Angels will pick up most of his remaining salary. Although, I doubt the Padres would bring on Mathews unless they can send one or both of Scott Hairston and Brian Giles somewhere.

The Angels need pitching and the Padres need to shake up their roster and keep themselves in the race.

It's a great fit for both sides.

If the Padres want to make a big splash and make big changes, changes that might actually make them better right now without going the trade route, they need to promote some of the young players in Triple-A. Guys like Kyle Blanks, Will Venable and Chad Huffman just to name a few.

This team does have something to look forward to on their own roster however. Something that may bring them out of this funk that they're currently in.

They have multiple players expected to return to the team from the disabled list. Starters Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva come back sometime in May, as well as reliever Mike Adams, who due back in June.

Baek has yet to make his first start for San Diego after an injury prior to the start of this season. Silva was injured a few starts into the 2009 season and could be back by the start of next month. Both pitchers could be a huge lift for this pitching staff that is already decimated by injuries.

Mike Adams missed the 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery but he's due back with the Padres sometime in June if everything goes as planned. He'd be a definite breath of fresh air if he can pitch like he did back in 2007.

If San Diego continues to lose games like they have, Kevin Towers and Padres' management needs to step in to rectify the situation and do it quickly—not wait until they fall so far behind that they have no choice but to wave the white flag on the season.

This team won't be able to get themselves out of a free fall, because they couldn't do it last season and they won't be able to do it this season. So fix it now before it gets out of hand.


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