Who’s On Your Roster?

Happy Wednesday!

Today had an early start… 5 a.m. Justin Shurley and I went over to Defiance, Ohio, to talk at their Chamber of Commerce meeting. As usual, very nice people. As an added bonus, there was breakfast. If you know anything about me, just know that I love breakfast. It’s the only reason I’m getting out of bed before 9 a.m. during a road trip.

Now we need to have a one-sided chat, because (with single-game tickets going on sale yesterday) I’ve had a couple of people ask me about our 2010 roster. Pardon me if I come off ornery, but I was up early this morning. Consider this Minor League Baseball Rosters 101.

1. The San Diego Padres have complete control over our roster.

2. No matter what anybody tells you, nobody knows today who will be on our Opening Day roster. Nobody. Not with the TinCaps, not with the Padres, not with any publication. I’d guess 90 percent of minor-leaguers aren’t even at Spring Training yet, and 100 percent of baseball players haven’t played a Spring Training game yet. Can you make educated guesses? Sure, but one injury, poor performance, trade, signing, release or walking pneumonia outbreak at any level of the organization and everything can change. The fact is, we won’t know our roster until the Padres send it to us the day before the team hops a flight from Arizona to Fort Wayne. When we know, you’ll know.

3. I understand that people may have gotten attached to last year’s team because they won a lot and they were entertaining and they were good guys. Guess what… The best players from last year’s team aren’t coming back here. You might be saying, “but you just said nobody knows who’s coming here!” You’re right, nobody does. But I could probably guess who won’t be back. So can you, if you look at the stats from last year. If you’re good in Class-A, you move up. That’s how Minor League Baseball works. Players like winning, but the whole point of the minor leagues is to develop players to help the major-league team.

4. With certain exceptions, it’s not good to repeat the Midwest League. If a guy got here in August last year and he comes back to start 2010, that’s OK. But if a guy played here for most of 2009 and comes back here again, his chances to make it to the big leagues probably aren’t good. Again, there are exceptions. Joey Votto repeated the league and now he’s a beast for the Reds, but he had limited baseball experience before he was drafted. Maybe you only care about the TinCaps winning, but again, the point is to eventually help the parent club win. Those two things can co-exist, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.

5. If/when the TinCaps don’t win 100 games this year, that’s not a failure. If that were the case, the 16 seasons before 2009 were all failures. They weren’t. Just hope the team is in the playoff hunt one of the two halves and enjoy the season.

I think I’ve gotten that all out of my system. I’m just trying to correct some of the misconceptions people have about our team and about Minor League Baseball in general.

Wednesday links:

  • Livan Hernandez signed with the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg, welcome to the Minor Leagues. There is little to no long-term downside to sending Strasburg to the minors out of Spring Training. There is considerable long-term downside to bringing him straight to Washington. I think the Nationals know that.
  • This article about Jake Peavy is mostly about his time in Mobile, but he came through Fort Wayne first.
  • Matt Stairs watched the US-Canada hockey game “from the edge of the Grand Canyon.” I don’t know why, but everything’s more entertaining when Matt Stairs says it.
  • Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list is out. Padres: Donovan Tate (53), Simon Castro (57), Jaff Decker (82), James Darnell (90). With the input of several people and the number of prospects, these rankings have to be incredibly tough to come up with.]

That’s it for now… Bowling tonight. My team is charging toward the top of the standings!

Take care!

DW

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