Before we get to Ron Fowler’s comments, let’s briefly discuss Jered Weaver‘s start to 2017. It’s been bad.
Weaver seems like a really good guy, with a sort of self-effacing sense of humor and candor that doesn’t often show in athletes, specifically when they’re down on their luck. But he’s been really bad. I’m not sure why anyone is particularly surprised by it, though, and maybe they aren’t. Last year Weaver posted a 7.50 DRA, worst in the whole darn league, and a full run worse than James freakin’ Shields. By Baseball Prospectus’ WARP calculation, he was worth negative (read: negative) 4.4 wins, a level of ineptitude rarely broached by WAR-based metrics.
Along with declining numbers across the board, Weaver’s fastball velocity has been in a much-publicized nosedive, dropping from the high 80s/low 90s a few years ago all the way down to the low-to-mid 80s now. There’s a good shot Joe Righthander, down at the local D3 Juco, throws harder than the 34-year-old Weaver does right now.
There was a very small chance that Weaver was going to be good this year, and slightly larger chance that he’d be okay, and a good chance he’d stink. I’m still convinced that the Padres signed him in part because he’s a good dude and in part because he wouldn’t impede the tank. And maybe, just maybe, he’d eat some innings and turn out to have a hint of trade value by July. But I’d be surprised if anyone in the baseball operations department had high expectations, given what we know about Weaver’s declining ability to get major-league hitters out.