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2012 Fantasy outlooks: San Diego Padres

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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After winning the NL West in consecutive seasons in 2005 and 2006, the Padres have become consistent cellar dwellers.

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The Padres haven't been to the playoffs in their first five seasons under manager Bud Black and have finished fourth or worse in the NL West three times. But they are just two seasons removed from a 90-win campaign in 2010, and San Diego would love to become contenders again. It's just that expectations are low heading into 2012.

The Padres were active on the trade market in the offseason. They acquired Carlos Quentin (White Sox), Yonder Alonso (Reds), Edinson Volquez (Reds), Huston Street (Rockies) and Andrew Cashner (Cubs), while shedding Anthony Rizzo, Mat Latos and Simon Castro in the process.

The front office also has a new look as former general manager Jed Hoyer joined Theo Epstein in Chicago, while former Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes replaces Hoyer as GM.

While the newcomers will be on display this spring, there are still a few leftovers from the 71-91 squad from 2011 worth talking about. Center fielder Cameron Maybin finally settled in at the MLB level and his 40 stolen bases were a welcomed addition. Tim Stauffer emerged as a quality starter. When he wasn't injured, Nick Hundley flashed signs that he can be the Padres' top catcher.

Still, the Padres' lineup isn't exactly going to strike fear into the hearts of pitching staffs in 2012, and San Diego's own rotation has to sort itself out, particularly who will emerge as the team's ace in the wake of the Latos trade.

A plus for the Padres is a strong farm system with plenty of burgeoning prospects, but many of them are a year or two away from making an impact.

Bust ... Yonder Alonso, OF

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Alonso's biggest fan is Byrnes, who traded Rizzo to the Cubs to make sure there was no "quarterback controversy" at first base heading into spring training. There is no denying Alonso is a great talent. His college resume, his draft status (seventh overall in 2008) and minor-league numbers prove that. Also, Alonso put together a .943 OPS in 47 games with Cincinnati in 2011. But there are a few issues heading into 2012 we need to highlight before Fantasy owners reach for Alonso on Draft Day. The first being that he is moving to pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. Alonso is more of a line-drive hitter, which won't help his power numbers in San Diego. Second, Alonso is just 69 games into his MLB career. Once opposing teams get a better scouting report, the road will almost certainly get tougher for Alonso.

Breakout ... Cory Luebke, SP

You take a look at Luebke's 6-10 record and 3.29 ERA from 2011 and you probably just view him as another middle-of-the-pack arm. But take a closer look at his numbers and Luebke screams breakout. Luebke struck out 9.9 batters per nine innings last season and also posted a 1.07 WHIP. He added nine quality starts and held the opposition to a .218 batting average in his 17 starts. Luebke's struggles surprisingly came at home in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park (4.04 ERA), so if he improves in that area this year, then he will emerge as a reliable Fantasy starter. It's worth noting that Luebke has said he's gotten better at using both sides of the plate thanks to the tutelage of pitching coach Darren Balsley.

Sleeper ... Edinson Volquez, SP

San Diego presents a fresh start for Volquez, who was acquired in the Latos trade. Once the ace in Cincinnati, Volquez hasn't been the same since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2009. He is 9-10 with a 5.20 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in his last two MLB seasons (32 starts). Volquez has been plagued by control problems since having elbow surgery, but he showed some promise late in 2011 once he came back from his minor-league banishment. Volquez struck out 19 in 23 2/3 innings and held the opposition to a .250 batting average in four September starts. Another reason to be encouraged is that Volquez has a strong history at his new home ballpark, going 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. PETCO Park can also help Volquez as he looks to cut down on his home runs allowed. Volquez was plagued by the long ball in 2011, yielding 1.6 homers per nine innings.

2012 San Diego Padres Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Will Venable RF 1 Tim Stauffer RH
2 Jason Bartlett SS 2 Clayton Richard LH
3 Cameron Maybin CF 3 Edinson Volquez RH
4 Carlos Quentin LF 4 Cory Luebke LH
5 Yonder Alonso 1B 5 Dustin Moseley RH
6 Chase Headley 3B Alt Anthony Bass RH
7 Orlando Hudson 2B
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Nick Hundley C CL Huston Street RH
Top bench options SU Luke Gregerson RH
R Jesus Guzman 1B RP Andrew Cashner RH
R Chris Denorfia OF RP Joe Thatcher LH
R John Baker C RP Ernesto Frieri RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Yonder Alonso 24 OF Majors Majors
Alonso better be ready to tackle the rigors of being an everyday major leaguer because the lights go on in April.
2 Yasmani Grandal 23 C Triple-A Triple-A
Grandal has excellent plate discipline and should post a favorable batting average and OBP when he arrives in the majors.
3 James Darnell 25 3B Majors Triple-A
Darnell could be heir apparent to Chase Headley at hot corner. The career .302 hitter in minors has 20-HR power.
4 Jedd Gyorko 23 3B Double-A Double-A
Gyorko is likely the long-term option at third for San Diego and has a higher ceiling than Darnell. Had .333-25-114 line last year.
5 Robbie Erlin 21 SP Double-A Triple-A
Erlin keeps hitters off-balance with a smooth delivery and works both sides of plate with outstanding efficiency.
Best of the rest: Rymer Liriano, OF; Casey Kelly, SP; Cory Spangenberg, 2B; Austin Hedges, C; Joseph Wieland, SP; Joe Ross, SP; Keyvius Sampson, SP; Jaff Decker, OF; Bradley Boxberger, RP; Juan Oramas, SP; Donavan Tate, OF; Jonathan Galvez, 2B; Blake Tekotte, OF; Reymond Fuentes, OF; Brad Brach, RP

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Michael Hurcomb at @CBSHurc . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Padres' Derek Norris crushes grand slam in win on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:23 pm ET) Derek Norris had a fantastic day at the plate for the Padres on Thursday. Norris, who was the starting first baseman on Thursday, went 5 for 5, including a seventh-inning grand slam.

Norris' slam cut the Mets' lead to 7-5, and the Padres would go on to win 8-7. It was the third grand slam of Norris' career, and his second this year. 

Norris, who now has 12 homers on the year, had been struggling at the plate coming into Thursday's game. Over his previous 10 games, he was batting just .111 (4 for 36) with no home runs and zero RBI.


Mets RF Curtis Granderson belts three-run home run in loss
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:17 pm ET) Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson had nice day at the plate on Thursday, but the Mets lost the game 8-7 to the Padres. Granderson went 2 for 4 with a double and a three-run home run.

Granderson's fifth-inning blast gave the Mets a 4-1 advantage at the time, but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Granderson, who also made a couple of terrific defensive plays, is batting .300 with two dingers and five RBI over his last 10 games.


Mets RP Jeurys Familia coughs up two-run lead in loss Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:14 pm ET) Mets closer Jeurys Familia blew his third of three save opportunities since the All-Star break in Thursday's 8-7 loss to the Padres. 

Familia (2-1) entered the ninth inning with the Mets leading by two runs. He was able to retire the first two batters in order, but then the rains came, causing a 45-minute delay. Familia returned to the mound after the rain stopped, with a 1-2 count on Derek Norris, who promptly singled.

Matt Kemp followed with another basehit before Justin Upton took Familia over the right-center field fence for a go-ahead, game-winning three-run home run. 

Familia has had a rough go of it lately, as he owns a 5.42 ERA over his last eight appearances. Mets manager Terry Collins did say Familia is still the team's closer for now, but his leash might be getting shorter due to the recent struggles.


Padres RP Craig Kimbrel closes out Mets for 30th save Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:08 pm ET) Padres closer Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 30th save of the season in Thursday's 8-7 win over the Mets. Kimbrel, who took the mound after a near three-hour rain delay, struck out a batter as he preserved the victory.

Kimbrel remains perfect in save chances this season, and his ERA has dwindled to 2.68--it was as high as 4.50 in early June.


Red Sox recall Jonathan Aro, option Tommy Layne
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) The Red Sox recalled pitcher Jonathan Aro from Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced on Thursday. Aro was 0-1 with a 3.03 ERA and one save. 

To make room, the team optioned Tommy Layne to Pawtucket. Layne was 0-1, 3.51 with a save for Boston. 


Indians recall Lonnie Chisenhall
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) The Indians recalled third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall from Triple-A Columbus, the team announced on Thursday. 

Chisenhall hit .209 in a previous stint with the team this year. He joined the team for Thursday's game and is in the starting lineup at DH. 


Mets RP Jerry Blevins (forearm) able to begin throwing program
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:04 pm ET) The Mets received some good news on Thursday, in what has otherwise been a rough couple of days. Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins has been cleared to begin throwing for the first time since suffering a fractured forearm in April.

Blevins has not thrown a pitch since taking a line drive off of his arm on April 19. There is currently no timetable for his return, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.


Mets option C Anthony Recker to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:00 pm ET) Mets catcher Anthony Recker was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas following the 8-7 loss to the Padres on Thursday. Recker had been the back-up to Kevin Plawecki, who will likely be the back-up to the returning Travis d'Arnaud.

Recker is batting .123 with a pair of home runs with the Mets in 2015.


Red Sox put RP Jean Machi on ML roster; Daniel Nava DFA'd
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:58 pm ET) The Red Sox have added right-handed reliever Jean Machi to the Major League roster. Machi was picked up off waivers from the Giants on Tuesday.

To make room on the 40-man and 25-man rosters, Daniel Nava has been designated for assignment. 


Padres' Andrew Cashner gets roughed up by Mets in no-decision
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:50 pm ET) Padres starter--and possible trade candidate--Andrew Cashner had a disaster of an outing against the Mets on Thursday. The right-hander allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three, and was able to escape with a no-decision after the Padres rallied for a late-inning 8-7 victory.

Cashner allowed an early run in the first inning, but cruised through the next three frames without giving up a run. But he gave up a three-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the fifth before allowing three more runs to cross in the sixth, including a solo blast by Juan Uribe.

Cashner, who has been mentioned in trade rumors recently, was making just his second start since the All-Star break. He is 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA over his past six starts.


 
 
 
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