Who Are These Guys? Padres’ Rotation Scoring Big for Nickels and Dimes
By now, everyone knows the 2010 Padres are doing very well so far in 2010. Currently at 26-18 and in first place in the NL West, they are this author's biggest surprise of the first two months of the 2010 season, second to only the AL East's amazing Blue Jays.
The Padres’ five-man rotation has been phenomenal, and is making a COMBINED $9.5 million salaries for the 2010 season.
Three of their five members are making under $500,000. By comparison, the Chicago White Sox are paying former Padre Jack Peavy $15 million this year.
Here's a synopsis of the Padres 2010 rotation, complete with their salaries and also their individual statistics at pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Can these Padres continue to compete?
In the sad-sack National League, anything is possible.
Signing Garland to a one-year contract has certainly paid off for the Pads. The 30-year-old with 122 major-league wins to his credit has now pitched for three NL West teams in the past 10 months. He split ’09 with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks but has found a comfortable home in 2010 with San Diego (especially in Petco Park).
Overall, he’s 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA and has allowed just three homers in 53 innings.
However, only once in Garland’s 12-year big-league career has he finished a season with an ERA under 4.00. Garland’s been great, but can he keep it up?
2010 salary: $4,700,000
Numbers at Petco Park: Four games started, 2-0 record, 1.08 ERA.
Correia was a pleasant surprise a year ago, going 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA.
But the 29-year-old righthander is a pedestrian 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA through eight starts this season, despite holding lefthanders to a .205 collective average. Still, it’s hard to consider Correia a real disappointment so far.
2010 salary: $3,600,000
Numbers at Petco Park: Four games started, 2-2 record, 3.56 ERA .
Acquired at the trade deadline last season in the Jake Peavy deal, Clayton Richard has been a tremendous surprise for the Pads in 2010. He’s 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA and has allowed just one home run in 56 innings spanning nine starts.
The 26-year-old has been impressive. However, with just 43 career starts under his belt, it’s likely he’ll hit a few growing pains in the weeks ahead, especially as the national league lineups start facing him in multiple starts.
2010 salary: $424,000
Numbers at Petco Park: Five games started, 2-1 record, 2.43 ERA.
The Padres 22-year-old 11th-round pick in the 2006 MLB Draft has been a huge success so far to say the least.
After struggling a little bit in his first 10 big-league starts last year, Latos has gone 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA through nine starts in 2010. His WHIP is under just 0.99, while his strikeout-to-walk ratio is an eye-popping 42-to-12. Just phenomenal.
He’s a kid with tons of potential, but like with Richard, it’s only a matter of time before the national league wises up to his act a little bit. Still, San Diego has lots of reasons to believe it has a winner in Latos.
2010 salary: $408,000
Numbers at Petco Park: Four games started, 1-2 record, 2.66 ERA.
Leblanc is one of three Padre starters under the age of 27. The 25-year-old lefty is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in seven starts this season.
But those numbers are misleading.
Eight of the 14 runs he’s given up in 2010 came in his outing last Friday at Seattle: a three-inning train-wreck for LeBlanc in which the pathetic Mariners turned into the 1927 Yankees for one night in a 15-8 shellacking of the Padres.
Still, LeBlanc hadn’t allowed a homer in his first 35 inning of the season before giving up two against the Mariners.
LeBlanc is a nice story, but like Richard and Latos, is bound to struggle at times during the season as he drifts further and further away from “unknown” status.
2010 Salary: $400,000
Numbers at Petco Park: Four games started, 1-1 record, 1.48 ERA.