As I'm up past my bedtime watching Milwaukee and San Diego, wondering why, oh why, Craig Counsell is batting 6th again tonight, I thought I'd pass along the result of a quick chat I had with Brad tonight about the Padres.
We got to talking about Adrian Gonzalez, who is pretty much the most ignored superstar in baseball, playing out West for a struggling franchise.
Guy's numbers are ridiculous in 2008 - .281/.355/.518 with 28 HR and 88 RBI coming into tonight. He's on pace to improve on last year's breakout season, when he hit .282/.347/.502 with 30 HR and 100 RBI.
Consider these factors working against Gonzalez:
- he hits in Petco, which is where sluggers go to die (I'm looking at you, Brian Giles)
- he plays for a team with no protection in the lineup - unless you call Kevin Kouzmanoff protection. Why does anybody pitch to this guy?
But it gets better for San Diego. Guess how they got him?
Oh, they traded Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and some throw-in for Gonzalez and Chris Young. That's about as lopsided a trade as you can get in baseball. Although Young has been hurt this year, he was great in 2007 and 2006, posting ERAs in the low 3's both years. And we know that Gonzalez has been a steal.
Adam Eaton? He started 13 games for Texas in 2006, posting a 5.12 ERA. Moved on to Philly the next year, where he continued to suck out loud.
Otsuka? Good year in 2006, posting 32 saves and blowing only 4. Then in 2007 he got hurt and is now out of baseball.
I know there were reasons why Texas probably thought this was a good move at the time. They needed a closer. Texiera was blocking Gonzalez. But the trade looks really foolish right now.
A funny side-note on Gonzalez? He was actually traded for a closer once before - Texas got him from Detroit in a July 2003 deal for Ugueth Urbina. Yes, that Ugueth Urbina.
By the way, I think the Brewers just broke the record for the most times grounding out to the pitcher in one game.