Tag: Carlos Quentin

Top 5 Issues the San Diego Padres Need to Address to Turn Things Around

Since getting swept by Joe Torre and the New York Yankees in the 1998 World Series, the San Diego Padres have only played playoff ball twice.

Even on those two occasions that they managed to take an underpaid club and over-perform enough to swing the bats in October, they’ve only been victorious once.

Not since Khalil Greene was making acrobatic plays at shortstop before making the throw to Adrian Gonzalez at first base has this team hung an NL West banner. Eight years later, Greene is five years into his retirement, while Gonzalez finds himself playing baseball up the I-5 with Magic Johnson. Meanwhile, the Friars are still trying to figure this whole baseball thing out and turn things around.

It may take some collective prayers.

It may take a complete overhaul of the League’s hatred for parity by implementing a salary cap 

Either way, read on to find out what this club can do to improve.

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Zack Greinke Injury Proves One Thing: LA Dodgers Are True Media Darlings

Matt Kemp’s sluggish start is suddenly the least of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ concerns.

That’s because Zack Greinke fractured his collarbone in a donnybrook that was triggered when Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being plunked in the shoulder by a fastball. You might’ve heard, as the incident’s getting a bit of media coverage.

Whether the injury occurred in the initial collision between the two or at the bottom of the pile of humanity that formed on top of them is immaterial. Even a shameless Dodger basher must admit the San Diego Padres‘ slugger owns the blame for both and rightfully so. 

But the larger media reaction—more or less summarized by this gem—has been incredible from one angle and predictable from another.

It’s been incredible because there seems to be a groundswell behind the idea that Quentin deserved a longer suspension than the eight games he got and is appealing (a similar suspension to those received by MLB‘s recent hard chargers).

That would make sense if Carlos did something totally unreasonable like charging the mound when there was obviously no intent (say, if he were hit with a curve ball) or knocked Greinke to the ground then stomped him out.

In those scenarios, the Stanford alum would’ve actually crossed a line by baseball standards.

In this case, though, I don’t see it.

That’s not to say the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter was definitely throwing at Quentin. It’s to say that nothing rules out the possibility.

Many people keep pointing to the game context as proof that Greinke couldn’t have been targeting a guy he’d already hit twice in his career. LA was up by one run and the count was 3-2 on the Padres’ No. 3 hitter who was leading off the sixth inning…

That’s it.

For some reason, nobody would ever throw at a batter in that situation.

Forget the history between the two players.

As Jayson Stark points out, Greinke‘s hit Quentin about once every 10 times the two have faced each other since 2008. In that same span, he’s hit a batter not named Carlos Quentin once every 225 plate appearances.

Forget that it’s April and there are still over 150 games to play. Yes, an April win counts as much as a September win, but let’s not be naive.

Forget that Zack Greinke is a player who’s gone on record implying that winning isn’t the most important thing to him. Forget that the Friars’ lineup falls off a cliff after Quentin so you wouldn’t be throwing a strike to the opposition’s most dangerous hitter when he’s sitting in full count in a one-run game. Which means if Greinke doesn’t think the hitter would go fishing and has a beef with him, dousing him might be an entirely attractive option.

Forget that Greinke is one of the premier arms in the game. One who probably wouldn’t be too concerned about pitching through a leadoff baserunner regardless of what was waiting in the wings. Infinitely less so when those hitters are Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko and Nick Hundley.

Forget all of that because nobody would throw at the leadoff hitter in the sixth inning of a one-run game. Ever.

That seems like a foolish argument to me.

Again, that’s not to say the right-hander was clearly throwing at Quentin or even that Carlos behaved reasonably.

To be honest, that pitch looked like Greinke pulled his fastball too much and it tailed back on him. Happens all the time.

Furthermore, the Padre is notorious for hanging over the plate and lunging into pitches, then not trying to avoid the HBP when the offering bores inside. When you get pegged as often as he does (check the second subheading here), you probably shouldn’t be headed to the mound except under the most explicit of circumstances.

And given the game context, it is unlikely that there was intent behind the fastball.

Not out of the question for the reasons stated, but unless the righty sincerely and viscerally dislikes Quentin, it would be a strange spot to throw at someone.

However, melees over misunderstandings aren’t exactly rare.

Plus you have to consider that (A) batters aren’t thrilled about getting pelted around the shoulders even when it’s purely accidental and (B) Greinke wasn’t exactly contrite afterwards. So let’s not pretend this is an obscene loss of composure.

As for the injury itself, that’s just bad luck. It’s not like Carlos body-slammed his prey or jump kicked him or anything else that would be considered excessive in a baseball brawl. He crashed into Greinke and they went to the ground.

Pretty standard.

Of course, Greinke‘s contract and the aura surrounding the Bums this season are very much nonstandard.

The hurler inked the largest contract ever given to a right-hander over the offseason in one of a flurry of flashy moves made by Los Doyers. Then there’s the matter of the mega-deal for broadcasting rights the franchise signed with Time Warner.

Consequently, it’s yawn-inducing that Magic Johnson’s colleague at ESPN (Stark) would write something like: “The Dodgers’ beautiful…2013 season can’t ever be the same.” It is likewise predictable that so many are parroting John Paul Morosi’s sentiment (via FOX Sports): “It was obvious to everyone else that Greinke‘s pitch wasn’t on purpose.”

Or that so many seem to be advocating harsher punishment because of the result—a serious injury to an excellent player and a headline generator.

When you combine a new ownership group with a lovable front man (who’s also employed by the industry’s 800-pound gorilla), a $7 billion infusion of capital, a roster of all-star names and a major media market, well, it’s no surprise that you get most-favored-franchise status.

Granted, “unsurprising” and “foolish” are not mutually exclusive adjectives.

Carlos Quentin got precisely what he deserved. He got a stiff-but-reasonable penalty that was in keeping with precedent because what he did wasn’t extraordinary, even if the cost of the incident was.

That doesn’t make for a sensational story, but the truth can be uncooperative.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Carlos Quentin: Was 8-Game Suspension and Fine the Appropriate Punishment?

Joe Garagiola Jr., senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball, announced the punishments for both Carlos Quentin and Jerry Hairston Jr. today for their participation in Thursday night’s bench-clearing brawl in San Diego that left Dodger co-ace Zack Greinke with a broken collarbone. 

Quentin, who initiated the fight, will receive an eight-game suspension and fine, while Hairston Jr. will receive a one-day suspension and fine for their roles in the incident.  Both players are looking to appeal their suspensions; however, both could realistically play in a three-game series between the Padres and Dodgers starting this Monday in Los Angeles.

Don Mattingly, Matt Kemp, Jerry Hairston Jr. and the entire Dodger organization have every right in the world to be mad at the outcome of brawl, but did Quentin’s punishment fit the crime?

Look, it’s never easy losing a player to injury, especially when the player is your newly acquired staff co-ace that was expected to start 33 games this season.  And sure, it’s unfortunate that Greinke broke his collarbone in the event, an injury that could potentially keep him out from one to three months, but this is baseball. Accidents happen, as unfortunate as they can be sometimes.

I’m not defending Quentin and his actions, but Greinke didn’t look very apologetic after he hit Quentin, and whatever words came out of his mouth immediately after didn’t look like words of remorse to me. 

And though these two have had a history of beanballs in the past, in Quentin’s defense, it must be frustrating to be hit by the same pitcher time and time again (this was Greinke‘s third plunking of Quentin). 

Quentin is an emotional guy; I think we all saw that last night in his reaction to being hit.  Does that justify his actions?  Of course not, but these guys are young and passionate and sometimes emotions can get the best of you. 

So does Quentin deserve to be suspended as long as Greinke is on the disabled list? 

I don’t think so.  Eight games and a fine is fair, and I’m sure there will be further retaliation at some point during the Padres/Dodgers series this coming Monday.  However, regardless of what happens, we need to remember that this is a rivalry that will always have bad blood, high emotions and heated exchanges as long these two teams play.  That’s what makes divisional rivalries so fun and exciting.

So Dodger fans, I’m very sorry that Greinke went down, but I guess the ball is now in your court.  Let’s see what happens next; it should be fun.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Carlos Quentin Will Be Suspended 8 Games for Charging Zack Greinke

Carlos Quentin won’t be suspended as long as Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had hoped, but Major League Baseball will reportedly be handing down a stiff punishment for the San Diego Padres outfielder.


UPDATE: Friday, April 12, at 9:53 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to MLB‘s Public Relations department, Quentin’s eight-game suspension is official although he does plan to appeal:


—End of update—


According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Quentin will be suspended eight games for charging at Zack Greinke on Thursday night:

Quentin’s suspension stems from a bench-clearing brawl in the Padres’ 3-2 loss to their division rivals. Standing at the plate with the count in his favor, Quentin was pegged by a Greinke fastball. Quentin subsequently charged the mound on the Dodgers ace, leading to Greinke suffering a fractured left collarbone after trying to brace his body against the charging outfielder. 

After the game, the entire Dodgers organization made their thoughts clear about Quentin. Star outfielder Matt Kemp and Quentin had to be separated by police after getting in a face-to-face altercation outside Petco Park. 

Angered at the injury of his prized hurler, Mattingly said that Quentin should face a long suspension. 

“[Quentin] should not play a game until Greinke can pitch,” said Mattingly (per Hardball Talk). “If he plays before Greinke, something is wrong. Nothing happens if that guy goes to first base.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Greinke will be out eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his collarbone. The 29-year-old right-hander signed a six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers this offseason and was expected to co-anchor the staff in 2013 along with Clayton Kershaw, a fellow Cy Young Award winner.

Even in the optimistic eight-week time frame, this collarbone injury will sideline Greinke until at least sometime in June.

As for Quentin, the suspension keeps him out just long enough to avoid San Diego’s next matchup with Los Angeles. The two sides start a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday, April 15, which would be right in the middle of Quentin’s absence.

Like all MLB suspensions, Quentin will have the right to dispute his eight-game ban. There is no word at this time whether he plans on filing an appeal.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

San Diego Padres: Will Carlos Quentin Ever Be Healthy Enough to Play Everyday?

Carlos Quentin has never been completely healthy his entire career.

Ever since being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 29th overall pick in 2003, Quentin has been plagued with constant injury.

This spring in San Diego Padres camp has been no exception.

Quentin has still not officially appeared in a spring training game, as the only two at-bats he had were not registered due to a rain-out against the Chicago White Sox on March 8.  

Since then, he has been sidelined due to an aggravation in his surgically repaired knee. 

According to a conversation Quentin had with Corey Brock of MLB.com:

“I’m doing all right, working through some stuff,” Quentin said. “I feel like I’m getting closer. I’m looking forward to that.”

Manager Bud Black still seems to be optimistic that Quentin will be able to go come opening day, but once again it makes you think just how long it will be until he gets injured again.

When he’s healthy, Quentin puts up great numbers and is the perfect number-four hitter behind third baseman Chase Headley.  

In his first year with the Padres in 2012, Quentin hit 16 home runs, 46 RBI, 44 runs scored and had a .261/.374/.504 slash line in a once-again injury-shortened season.

So does Quentin have what it takes to stay healthy over a full season for the Padres?

At this point in his career, I still think he is better suited to DH somewhere in the American League.  

Sure he’s a solid hitter and drives in runs, but he’ll never be able to stay consistently healthy and will always be making trips to the DL.

And while I appreciate his production while he’s healthy, I also wonder how some younger players in our system would produce if given the opportunity to play on a regular basis.  

Mark my words, Triple-A Tucson outfielder Daniel Robertson will make an appearance with the team earlier in the season, and he will be the consistent bat in the lineup that the Padres desperately need.

Robertson has been nothing but consistent in his entire minor league career and has the perfect mix of bat, defense and speed that the Padres need in Petco Park.

Regardless of what the front office decides to do, it still seems blatantly clear to me that Quentin will not be in the lineup the entire season for the Padres, and the team should start exploring other opportunities much sooner than later.

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MLB: Cleveland Indians Have Their Ace in Ubaldo Jimenez

On May 27, Ubaldo Jimenez had started 10 games for the Cleveland Indians in the 2012 season.

Of those ten games, five of them were quality starts and in the other five he allowed four or more runs. While Jimenez held a 5-4 record, his ERA was at a season high, 5.79.

In those 10 starts, Jimenez had a 33:42 K:BB over 56 innings. He also allowed 58 hits in those starts, ballooning his WHIP to 1.79.

Then, June started and while Jimenez is just 3-3 over his last seven starts, he has shown exactly what made him a huge acquisition from the Colorado Rockies at the 2011 MLB trade deadline.

Jimenez has thrown 46 innings, posted a 2.93 ERA, but, most importantly, Jimenez has a 44:16 K:BB and has allowed 38 hits, for a 1.17 WHIP.

Jimenez is throwing strikes and has turned back into the player who the Indians thought they were getting when they traded Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, two very good arms, to acquire the 28-year-old Dominican right-hander.

As the Indians head into the All-Star break and rumors have swirled about their interest in several players:

Shane Victorino – by Ken Rosenthal

Matt Garza – by Jon Paul Morosi

Chase Headley – by Jon Heyman

Carlos Quentin – by Buster Olney

While I have mentioned others in previous articles, particularly right-handed bats and pitchers like Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs and Brandon McCarthy of the Oakland A’s, the Indians may have improved their rotation with the apparent divine intervention that has taken place with Ubaldo Jimenez and his ability to pitch efficiently in MLB.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking Best Landing Spots For Padres’ Carlos Quentin

The San Diego Padres are going nowhere fast, and unloading Carlos Quentin needs to be a priority.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, most “in the industry” expect Quentin to be dealt before the July trade deadline, and it makes plenty of sense.  

He is making $7.025 million in the final year of his contract, and at the age of 29, he is unlikely to be a part of the youth movement currently moving forward in San Diego.

Since coming back from a knee injury, Quentin has hit .400 with six doubles and 11 runs in only 69 plate appearances. He still has substantial value, even if we will never see the 2008 version of Quentin ever again.

The Padres’ payroll is expected to stand around the $55 million mark next season according to Rosenthal, and signing Quentin to a long term deal doesn’t make a ton of sense.

While Rosenthal doesn’t completely discount the notion of Quentin returning next season, the Padres are better off moving him now, saving the payroll and acquiring more young talent in return.

Here are the three teams that could use Quentin to propel them for a deep playoff run this fall.


3. Baltimore Orioles

Are they for real?

If the O’s plan on sticking around atop the AL East all summer, they have to beef up their production in left field.

Converted third basemen Steve Tolleson started in left for the Orioles on Tuesday. He is currently hitting .214 with a .267 OBP. This comes one night after converted first basemen Steve Pearce was manning the position.

Adding a proven veteran with the ability to hit for power is exactly what the O’s offense could use right now. They also have a sizable amount of depth lurking in their minor league system and could certainly entice San Diego to make a deal.


2. Cincinnati Reds

While the budget may be tight, they have a recent history in dealing with the Padres with the Mat Latos megatrade.

The Reds have been platooning Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey in left field all season long and the results have been less than stellar.

It’s the biggest weakness in an otherwise potent lineup, and if the Reds are looking to cash-in on their early season success, surrendering another talent in their strong farm system makes plenty of sense.


1. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates quietly have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. They are pushing the Reds for NL Central supremacy, but they have to do something about their offense.

They currently rank dead last in all of baseball in runs (222) and on-base percentage (.283) and are 29th  in batting average (.228).

Sure this team never adds payroll midseason, but they have a loaded farm system and could make for an enticing trade partner with San Diego.

Besides, the Pirates have to show their fans they give a crap about winning at some point. Right?

Quentin’s seven years of big league experience, ability to hit for average and strong defense make him just the kind of player Pittsburgh needs right now. 


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Carlos Quentin Traded to Padres: Chicago White Sox Make Solid Rebuilding Deal

Carlos Quentin became the latest major player to be traded by the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.  The White Sox dealt Quentin to the San Diego Padres for two minor league pitchers, Pedro Hernandez and Simon Castro, according to Sports Illustrated.  While the White Sox lost their No. 2 run producer, they get two pitchers who may contribute on the big league level for the White Sox in 2012.

Williams has been mostly focused on rebuilding this offseason.  Before dealing Quentin, he let Mark Buehrle sign with the Miami Marlins and traded Sergio Santos.  The Quentin deal saves the White Sox money while replenishing the team’s stock of prospects.

The deal brought the White Sox significant savings.  Quentin was arbitration eligible and could have demanded several million dollars.  With $91 million committed to 12 players, and the White Sox looking to trim the payroll, the White Sox seemed more likely to cut ties with players who were arbitration eligible than to keep them.

While giving John Danks an extension seemed to be an exception, the Quentin deal followed the probable line.


The Scoop on Castro and Hernandez

Castro seems like a solid prospect.  He was ranked No. 58 of all prospects by Baseball America entering the 2011 season.  His 5.63 earned run average this year isn’t nice, but the more important numbers—strikeouts (94) and walks (34)—look much better.  Also, he pitched 115 innings in 2011 and 140 in 2010.

Castro may be ready to start in 2012 if he starts the year well in the minors.

Pedro Hernandez, 22, looks like a good prospect as well.  Hernandez rose from Single-A to Triple-A in 2011.  Across all levels in 2011, he posted a 10-3 record with a 3.49 earned run average, 94 strikeouts and 22 walks in 116 innings pitched.

Hernandez may need some more work starting in the minor leagues in 2012 before starting in the majors since only 18 of his 28 games pitched in 2011 were starts.

Either Castro or Hernandez would be worth putting in the White Sox’s bullpen in 2012 for some period of time since the White Sox’s bullpen currently looks thin.  Addison Reed seems most likely to close with Jesse Crain setting up.  Aside from Jason Frasor and Josh Kinney, it’s hard to tell who will pitch middle relief for the White Sox.


Conclusion: What’s Next for the White Sox?

Now that the White Sox have dealt Quentin, one must wonder what their next move will be. Will the Red Sox or Orioles remain in the hunt for Gavin Floyd, as the Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe reported?

One must wonder whether the Red Sox will still go for Floyd after the Andrew Bailey deal.

Will the White Sox continue to waffle the rebuilding trail by chasing Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes, as CBSSports.com mentioned?

Reading Williams’ moves is difficult.  If he plays correctly, he’ll trade Floyd for extra savings.  He’d have to be pretty clever to come out of a Cespedes signing with a cheap deal.

Hopefully, he makes shrewd, smart moves.  Trading Quentin for Hernandez and Castro was a step in the right direction.

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Carlos Quentin: White Sox Slugger Dealt to Padres for Pitching Prospects

The White Sox will be without one of their bashers next season. C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports is reporting that the White Sox have traded Carlos Quentin to the Padres for minor league pitchers Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez.

Quentin will be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. In 118 games in 2011, he hit 24 home runs, drove in 77 runs and had a .254 batting average and .340 OBP. 

The value of this trade for the Padres will come down to one question: Can Quentin hit at PETCO Park? Since the park opened in 2004, very few hitters not named Adrian Gonzalez have been able to answer that with a yes.

Quentin is right handed, so there is a benefit there. It’s much easier to hit for power to left field at PETCO than right, but this is going to be a tough adjustment. 

In the National League West, you have to deal with some of the best pitching and best pitcher’s parks in all of baseball. Yes, there’s Coors Field and Chase Field, but PETCO, AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium are all parks that favor the pitcher. 

And of course, Quentin will have to deal with some of the best pitchers that baseball has to offer. Guys like Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson all play their craft in the National League West. 

Leaving the hitter-friendly American League and U.S. Cellular Field will be an adjustment that Quentin will have a hard time making.

Whether this is a terrible move or not will depend on what the prospects amount to for the White Sox. Even if Quentin is a bust, the other players involved need to be good to make the trade a bust. 

But Quentin’s not the kind of hitter that’s going to have a lot of success hitting in San Diego. He’s a career .252 hitter, and even those numbers are skewed by one .288 season. He’s also never played more than 131 games in a season. Lastly, Quentin’s home stadiums have always been hitter-friendly parks. That’s no longer the case. 

Lastly, in San Diego, he’s batting in a lineup that will offer no protection or many chances to drive in runs. In Chicago, there were hitters to fear. In San Diego, it’s one unimposing hitter after another.

This is a grasp for the Padres, but it’s not going to work. He’ll be another version of Ryan Ludwick.


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Chicago White Sox: 6 Lessons to Take from August

The Chicago White Sox survived a topsy-turvy August, entering the final month of the season second in the division with a 68-66 record.  To say that Ozzie Guillen can be at ease with his White Sox above water would be to overlook both the character of Guillen and the expectations set for the White Sox at the beginning of the season when some picked them to the win the division. 

The White Sox looked like they were out of playoff contention at the beginning of the month.  At the end of August, the White Sox again looked to be out of contention.  The White Sox went on five-game winning streaks and sustained losing streaks.  Additionally, Guillen saw his White Sox hit extraordinarily well for several games at a time only to lose their hitting stroke.  In a similar vein, the White Sox had spells of strong pitching and spells of poor pitching.

Following is a look at some nuggets of wisdom to be gathered from the month of August.

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