The Padres knew he has a long way to go but did not realize how far. He has been inconsistent with his mechanics and has yet to elevate his changeup to a pitch others fear. With a fastball that is hard but straight, the development of his secondary pitches is crucial.
The hope was Carrillo would find a way to avoid surgery but with surgery comes questions heading into 2008. Will he regain his command, his velocity and his attitude?
He has never walked a lot so if he is not hitting – and he wasn't – the problems are compounded. He struggled so badly that the Padres are re-working his entire swing composition.
He has made a concerted effort to cut down his uppercut swing but some habits are hard to break. When he hits the ball it goes a long way. When, however, is the problem. He dives out for balls outside of his zone and has trouble waiting on his pitch, although a recent stretch offers hope.
Placed on the 40-man roster this off-season, Cruz felt like he needed to hammer every pitch to make it to the next level. While he hit quite a few hard, he also suffered with over-swinging and not putting good wood on the ball.
The Padres wanted him in the rotation after he impressed last year with his first-pitch strikes. He also had an impressive spring. His season, however, has been a disaster as he is pitching from behind and leaving the ball over the plate.
Coming out of the pen, Delabar struggled to find a routine and consistency. His release point varied and he would open his front side by landing off-line. Now in the rotation in Fort Wayne he can right the ship.
This was the hardest to include here since he essentially skipped a level and has improved lately. What makes him land here is his penchant for swinging at bad pitches – abandoning what was a relatively patient approach coming into the year. His defense, though, has improved.
Working down in the zone was his mantra, but he has done anything but this season. His ball lacks the natural run he showed last season, and the dead balls are becoming havens or hitters.
He would probably be the first to tell you that another year in Double-A is not what he would term a success. When he was in Triple-A, Johnson looked awful. You have to make the most of the chances.
While his average is up from some early struggles, Jones has hit just three homers and all have come over the last few weeks – giving hope for a strong second half. His strikeouts are down, but this is his second time through the Midwest League and marked improvement was the hope from early to late.
He has always been a kid with surprising pop that consistently put the ball in play – and hard. His confidence has faltered and he is not staying back on the ball – on pace to set a career-high in strikeouts.
Still a slick fielder, Lopez can't seem to grasp the concept of going the other way and keeping the ball on the ground. He comes up to the plate with the philosophy that he has to go yard in every at bat, causing him to become off-balance when he does put his bat through the zone.
Have you ever heard that losing weight was a problem? It might have been for Madden. He trimmed down and his velocity took a dive as a result. No longer was he a mid-90s pitcher with good movement – he was ordinary. The Padres worked with him in extended and hope he is back to full strength in the second half.
When you break your pitching hand by clubbing a wall in the clubhouse and are on the 40-man roster, your stock will invariably fall. He has the stuff – he just needs to right the head.
He went from big leaguer to near forgotten man. Thompson was a regular and a key to the Padres postseason last year, but he has had trouble locating his already fringe stuff this year. Finding the strike zone again will be key for a pitcher that misses few bats.
Wells has always had trouble with his changeup and it came to a head in Triple-A. He lacked confidence in the pitch and the opposition would sit on his fastball or slider. That becomes much tougher for hitters to do now that he is in the pen – we reserve some judgment.
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