Friday, February 15, 2013

Injury Round-Up: Liriano, Wieland, Cashner


I have good and bad news to share with you today (for Padres fans). The bad outweighs the good. I will give you the bad news with the angry rant first, and the good news with the upbeat optimism second.

Rymer Lirano felt a pop in his elbow on his throwing arm while playing long toss in the Dominican Republic. He will require Tommy John Surgery. After a strong year and a very good AFL, Liriano was being touted as the RF of the future. He was expected to have a chance to reach the majors by the end of the year, but that is now out of the question. It was speculated he could have been part of a package for super-star Giancarlo Stanton. It also was brought to my attention that Joe Wieland will not likely see major league action next season. This is all the bad news I have for today, now here is the upside to this particular bad news. Remember that Tommy John for a position player is a much quicker recovery for a position player, so he will be swinging a bat in 6 months and playing ball in 9 months. The organization sees him playing winter ball or in the AFL next year. This is much faster than the traditional 12-18 month recovery time for pitchers. It could be much worse. Joe Wieland will recover, but he will spend the remainder of the year in the minors. This would likely just be to shake off some of the rust and get him some in game action. By July, we will have five starters (hopefully) that are in the rotation. If there is an injury, I wouldn't be surprised if Wieland would be the one to come up. A rotation of Edinson Volquez-Cory Luebke-Tyson Ross-Robbie Erlin-Casey Kelly wouldn't surprise me at all. I did leave out Clayton Richard. If the rotation holds up, Richard could be a nice trade chip to get a bat at the deadline. 

Here is the good news. In case you are wondering why I have a picture of Andrew Cashner up, it's because it is likely he will be ready for opening day, which is huge. According to Corey Brock, the Padres feel like Cashner will be a starting pitcher, which is bad news for about 13 other players. This spring will be a big audition, and Cashner, Kelly, and Erlin hopefully win those three spots. (I bet it is Stults, Marquis, and Garcia).

Cabrera and Gyorko should be the opening day SS and 2B respectively. This is a preview of the opening day line-up. Things could change. (I think Kyle Blanks kills spring training and steals the RF job out of thin air.)

SS Everth Cabrera
2B Jedd Gyorko
3B Chase Headley
LF Carlos Quentin
1B Yonder Alonso
RF Kyle Blanks
CF Cameron Maybin
C Nick Hundley

Here is what I'd expect mid-season if we are in contention (It is a hope not an expectation at this point):

CF Cameron Maybin
1B Yonder Alonso
3B Chase Headley
LF Carlos Quentin
RF ACQUIRED BAT
C Yasmani Grandal
2B Jedd Gyorko
SS Everth Cabrera

If we could acquire a bat and Cameron Maybin breaks out, this could be a very excellent offense. This team has potential, but it needs some GOOD luck to see a decent season. We can't say this was the worst possible off season we could have had, because we didn't trade Chase Headley. Speaking of, I have a side note.

To ESPN,
Please stop having your writers publish stories about how the Padres should trade Chase Headley. Josh Byrnes has said on multiple occasions that they will not trade him, and I have not seen an article about the Padres not concerning trading Chase Headley to the Yankees or Dodgers. The daily suggestion is getting on my nerves. I know that there will be another article soon that uses the loss of Liriano as another reason the trade Headley, but it really is the opposite. Give me a break from this and publish something useful. You have suggested we trade him since he broke out, is it not possible that we don't want to trade proven(ish) major league players for prospects at this current point? 
-Padres Fans Everywhere (All 4 of us)

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