Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Roster Moves

Yesterday we made our second series of significant roster moves by removing 12 players from big league camp.

Cesar Carrillo, Jackson Quezada, Mike Ekstrom, Travis Denker, Luis Durango, and Wade LeBlanc were all optioned to the minor leagues - in other words, they are still on the 40-man Major League roster, but they've now been optioned to one of our minor league clubs.

Matt Buschmann, Pete Ciofrone, Chris Britton, Cedric Hunter, Sean Kazmar, and Mitch Canham were all reassigned to minor league camp. That simply means that they were all on minor league contracts to begin with, so they don't need to be optioned down to the minors.

As you may have noticed around MLB, the pace of similar transactions accelerated at the beginning of this week. Part of that is because cuts are often done on Sundays and Mondays, part is because of players returning from the WBC (we have three more players back in camp today), and part is because the rules prohibit teams from optioning first-year roster players - players added to the 40-man for the first time this winter - until a certain date in spring training. You've probably guessed that the date just passed.

Often times these are younger players who aren't expected to compete for Major League jobs, so as the spring continues they lose playing time to the veterans. The fact is they're often better off getting back into minor league camp where they can get more work in and prepare for their seasons. Therefore, for the young guys being optioned or reassigned at this point is not necessarily a reflection of their performance in Major League camp.

11 comments:

Tim said...

I love these explanations. This one was mostly common sense, but I didn't know there was an actual date before which first-year 40-man roster players couldn't be optioned.

Did the MLBPA get this in the CBA so that players could get a fair chance to show their stuff in ST?

P.S.: Please get Kyle Blanks some time in the outfield.

sdsuaztec4 said...

Paul any update on Worrell's elbow?

chris_sandiego said...

Hi Paul -

Great blog. Can you give us some insight into how trade discussions go between clubs? What I mean is, do you call up another GM and say "What'd take to get player X?" Or do you ask if he's available? Any "normal" way it goes down and any taboos, stuff you don't do?

Any info is appreciated.

jason said...

Blanks can't be worse than Klesko or Dunn in Left, give him a shot.

Given how well Antonelli seems to be playing in spring, does he have a chance for a roster spot? Or will he start in Portland to keep getting playing time?

Steve24 said...

KT said on the new MLB network (AWESOME station btw but the program on the Cathedrals of Baseball feature Petco was more than a few years outdated)that Correia has a great shot at being the #4.

Who are we projecting at #5 with LeBlanc being sent down?

I know typically you don't need a #5 right away, are you still projecting LeBlac for that spot?

Greer sure didn't look good the other day (giving up 6 runs with a fastball clocked at 83?).

Ramos & Silva don't excite me much. I'd like think we'll see LaBlanc in that #5 slot at some point.

Itay said...

Paul,

Can you tell us how minor league teams prepare for their season and how is the organization look at those preparations

hector said...

I had heard that many prospects from the D.R. are being investigated for their ages. Do the Padres have that problem?

Steve24 said...

Keith Law was a little rough on the front office in his recent blog -

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=law_keith

Highlights, er, lowlights include -

"Talking to scouts and executives from other clubs, two consistent themes emerge: They think the Padres' big league team is one of the worst in baseball, and they think the Padres' front office sees the club very differently."

"• In the last at-bat of the game, Matt Antonelli was ahead 3-1 and chased a ball down that he popped up to short right field. It's not so much the result but the process -- in a hitter's count, you need to get a pitch to drive, not simply swing at what's offered."

"If the Padres were in any other division, they'd be likely to lose 95-plus, possibly 100-plus, games. There's a good chance their Opening Day lineup will feature four players who wouldn't start every day for just about any other club and only one player who's solidly above average (Adrian Gonzalez)."

I was at the WBC last night for the Japan/Cuba elimination game. I hope what Law is writing isn't true. Seeing Petco empty made me shudder to think of what the roster might look like next year if we put up Florida attendance figures this season.

Brett said...

Can a player who has been optioned to minor league camp still come back and play for the major league team in a spring training game?

Also, I'm all for encouraging plate discipline, but do you think there are ever any exceptions? Rare players like Vladimir Guerrero and Nomar Garciaparra seem to be free swingers who still fare well in all three triple slash categories. If they start going deeper in counts, are they better or worse players? They might increase walks, but they might also suffer more strikeouts, and drop in AVG and SLG as well (based on less balls in play).

Do you think Khalil Greene might be that type of exception that is better off being aggressive? It's only spring, small sample size, and against inferior pitching, but with less emphasis on plate discipline he has hit exceptionally well and only struck out once in 46 PA's. If he puts balls in play early in the at-bat, he'll strike out less, and wont have to worry as often about off-speed pitches with 2 strikes.

Paul DePodesta said...

Itay,

The minor leaguers report to spring training much later - early to mid March as opposed to mid February for the Major Leaguers. Furthermore, the minor leaguers didn't even start playing games until March 20th, so they only get to play about two weeks of games before their seasons begin.

Paul DePodesta said...

Brett,

Every hitter is different. The guys you mentioned are good examples of productive and dangerous hitters who didn't take a lot of walks. I think we have to be careful not to try to force guys into a certain approach. At the same time, there are elements of our approach that can make free swingers even more effective.