The Padres' unpredictable, wild and wacky roller-coaster ride continues, writes Craig Elsten in his piece on 619Sports.net. Their 10-game home winning streak came to an end on Monday with a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia, and then Jake Peavy was sickened and knocked out early in a 10-6 shellacking on Tuesday night. But underneath all the highs and lows, there are a couple of trends emerging that need to be discussed:
1) Kouzmanoff and Headley are the real keys to 2009. I don't think many people expected a rose garden at Petco Park this season. No matter how many streaks they reel off, this is supposed to be a rebuilding year. Over half of the starting rotation is comprised of spare parts. And there are placeholders in a number of positions on the field instead of prospects (more on that later).
So, the real issues here are talent and progress. Those who are thought to be talented enough to be core players on the next good Padres team need to start showing some progress on the field. And front and center in that group should be the two prime-aged sluggers in the middle of the lineup, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley.
2) Signing David Eckstein was a mistake. Yeah, I said it. Probably your favorite player on the team, and here I am, picking on the little guy. He looks like he should be batting sixth on your son's Little League team, and there he is fouling off pitches and getting plunked in the ribs, and in the big leagues! Every team should have a David Eckstein, right?