It’s been tough to watch the Padres this week. They blew a 2-0 lead against the Dodgers Sunday and lost 4-2 in extras. Oakland pretty much ran roughshod over them. Buddy Black was fired, Dave Roberts lost his only game as manager, Pat Murphy started 0-2.
Why is a combination of factors; not enough timely hitting (or hitting in general). Sloppy defense. Inconsistent starting pitching. And an incendiary bullpen. It seems the only reliable arm we have down there is Brandon Maurer. At least we now know Alexi Amarista can pitch; gotta maximize roster flexibility.
The bullpen has been awful, and the most painful visual is seeing Cory Mazzoni get obliterated. I attended the 9-1 drubbing on Monday and it was uncomfortable watching him struggle. He couldn’t get the third out. Wednesday he didn’t have anything, but with San Diego already down 9-2 he absorbed another beating. I’m sure this week is one he’d rather forget.
Before we give up on him entirely, it’s worth remembering he was a second round draft pick of the Mets in 2011. The Padres got him in the Alex Torres trade. He jumped four levels in the Mets minor league system last year. I’m no expert by any stretch on player development, but I can’t believe there have been many players who start the season in Rookie ball and end it at Triple-A. This year he’s been good at El Paso, posting a 1.99 ERA, allowing less than a runner an inning, and striking out 11.9 hitters per 9.
He can have a successful career at the Major League level. It’s obvious, however, he isn’t ready for the Majors yet.
Because the bullpen has struggled, the team is swinging wild trying to find another effective reliever. Nick Vincent, Kevin Quackenbush, Mazzoni, and others have ridden the iron bird between El Paso and San Diego as the club tries to figure this out. Rather than keep sending Mazzoni out there to get torched, let’s leave him in El Paso the rest of this year. I’d rather watch Quackenbush or Vincent – guys who’ve at least proven in the past they can consistently get hitters out at this level – fight their way through an outing than witness Cory trying to figure it out at the ML level with little success.
End the madness. Let the kid develop. Send Mazzoni down.
Sorry – not writing auf Deutsch today.