Padres Smart To Wait On Headley

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Although Padres prospect Chase Headley is hitting .302 with 9 HR in 49 games at Triple-A, the Padres are smart to wait on calling him up. Yes, left fielder Paul McAnulty is hitting just .209 with 3 HR, but calling up Headley now would only put pressure on him to turn around the struggling Padres. Calling him up now while the Padres clubhouse is down in the dumps won't do his first taste at the big leagues any good. Not to mention that there really isn't anyone to send down to the minors. McAnulty is out of options, Huber is out of options, and it wouldn't make sense to send down any reliever at this point.

Of course money is somewhat of an issue, but history proves calling up players to struggling teams does not work. The Cubs called up top prospect Angel Guzman in 2006 when they were in a fight to stay in contention. Guzman, at the time, was considered the next Cubs phenom. However, he struggled to get into a rhythm as the Cubs clubhouse was 'down in the dumps.' Guzman went 0-6 with a 7.39 ERA as the Cubs finished 66-96. This is just one example of many, but the Padres are smart to have patience, as it should pay off in the end.


Anonymous 8:10 PM CDT  

Headley was up with the Padres last year. The sentence "first taste at the big leagues" is wrong. Also, The SD U-T article was written from an economic view, not a player development view. Headley is 24 and mature for his age. Will he struggle?, maybe. But he will face some struggles no matter when he is called up. This team is so bad if they released McAnulty and Huber, no one will claim them. NO ONE IN SD IS BUYING THE LINE OF BRING HIM UP IN A GOOD CLUBHOUSE. IT IS ABOUT THE $, just like Sullivan writes. The problem is, they are losing $ at the gate. Watch a Padres game on television and you see nothing but seats.

Anonymous 10:31 AM CDT  

Just to present another point of view on the subject...

The above sentiments are a bit inaccurate. Back in the first month of the season, Sullivan wrote another article highlighting how the Padres could hold off Headley's arbitration clock if they didn't promote him until April 29th. Now, this article comes out and presupposes that Headley is a potential Super Two prospect.

Disregarding the fact that the pay scale during arbitration hearings is escalated by talent and production, it disregards the fact that more and more teams are buying out the players' arbitration years (especially this season) in order to keep them at a relative bargain, as arbitration "losers" still see a boat load of cash.

It also disregards similar contracts signed within the Padres own organization with Peavy, Gonzalez, Young, and - too an extent - Greene. To insinuate that he might not be called up due to financial reasons, while probably true to a certain degree, should be offset by the fact that if he plays well they'll likely give him a lucrative contract to offset his arbitration years anyway.

The fact that they might delay his call-up because he could potentially be a Super Two player is presumptuous and misleading. The above poster's sentiments, while understandable given the Padres struggles, are ones that generally have been identified as reactionary and akin to the sentiments of a decent portion of the Padres' fan base who believe they are "owed" big name/money free agents due to the new stadium. In their eyes, the Padres' front office is always penny pinching and refuses to spend money.

As was referenced in the afore-mentioned post, Sullivan wrote this article from an economic standpoint...but he conveniently bypassed the facts that would contradict his point.