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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
Rays' Logan Forsythe back in the lineup, Brandon Guyer out
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:00 pm ET) Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe is back in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Yankees with Tim Beckham sliding to designated hitter and Brandon Guyer moving to the bench, the team announced per the Tampa Bay Times.

Forsythe got the day off Monday with Beckham moving to second. He is hitting .262 with two home runs in 61 at-bats this season. Guyer had started the last four games in a row before getting Tuesday off.


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(3:56 pm ET) The Reds will start Michael Lorenzen Wednesday against the Brewers and push Mike Leake to make Thursday's start against the Braves, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Lorenzen will be making his major-league debut Wednesday. He's 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 12:4 K:BB ratio in 19 innings over three Triple-A starts.

Leake has tossed at least seven innings in three straight starts and owns a 3.90 ERA and 22:8 K:BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings over four starts this season. Lorenzen


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by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3:53 pm ET) Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings is out of the lineup once again Tuesday while dealing with a knee injury, the team announced per the Tampa Bay Times.

Jennings left Saturday's game with the injury and has been held out of the lineup ever since with Kevin Kiermaier drawing his third consecutive start in center. Jennings is hitting .222 with two RBI in 63 at-bats this season.


Nationals' Anthony Rendon not in Double-A lineup Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3:49 pm ET) Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon is not in the starting lineup for Double-A Harrisburg Tuesday, the Washington Post reports.

Rendon is working his way back from a knee injury, but he was scratched Monday after feeling fatigued. He is expected to be used at both second base and third base when he returns to the lineup.


Red Sox's Shane Victorino likely to stay on DL longer than 15 days
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:45 pm ET) Red Sox manager John Farrell isn't certain outfielder Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be able to come off the disabled list when eligible on May 8 against the Blue Jays, per The Boston Herald.

Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, with the move retroactive to April 23.


Tigers' Rajai Davis out of the lineup Tuesday, Nick Castellanos back
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3:45 pm ET) Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is out of the lineup again Tuesday against the Twins with a groin injury while Nick Castellanos returns to third base, the team announced. Davis missed Monday's game with the injury and will be replaced by Anthony Gose. He is hitting .341 with four RBI in 41 at-bats this season.

Castellanos got the day off Monday after playing eight straight at third. He is hitting .227 with two home runs in 66 at-bats this season. The Tigers are currently the favorites (-135) against the Twins.


Yankees' McCann is 8 for 15 in career against Rays' Odorizzi
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:41 pm ET) Yankees catcher Brian McCann has been on a nice run offensively since April 18. He is batting .313 (10 for 32) with a .500 slugging percentage, .853 OPS, one double, one triple, one home runs, five RBI and six runs in his last eight games.

McCann might be able to keep his hot streak going Tuesday with Jake Odorizzi on the hill for the Rays. McCann is batting .615 (8 for 13) with one double, one triple, two home runs and six RBI in his career against the right-hander. 

McCann had two singles and a two-RBI triple against Odorizzi during a 9-0 win at Tampa Bay on April 18.


Nationals' Yunel Escobar out of lineup Tuesday
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(3:35 pm ET) Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar is out of the lineup as expected for Tuesday's matchup with the Braves.

Escobar suffered a hand injury on a hard slide by Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons Monday and is dealing with multiple cuts on his hand. Danny Espinosa is getting the start at third base Tuesday, with Dan Uggla manning second base.

The Nationals are underdogs (+100) against the Braves Tuesday.


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(3:31 pm ET) Yankees third baseman and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez is out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Rays, with Garrett Jones taking over the DH role, the team announced.

Rodriguez had played the last four games in a row with just two games off in the first 20 to start the season. He is hitting .254 with five home runs in 63 at-bats this season. Jones is hitting .217 with a triple in 23 at-bats this season.


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by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton is starting behind the plate for the major-league debut of pitcher A.J. Cole Tuesday.

It's the fifth start of the season for Lobaton, who is just 1 for 13 with two walks and nine strikeouts. His presence behind the plate will send Wilson Ramos to the bench after four straight starts.

The Nationals are underdogs (+100) against the Braves Tuesday.


 
 
 
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