Posts Tagged ‘Jackson Quezada’

Padres Roster Moves and a Former Padre on the Move

The San Diego Padres, like all other MLB teams, are making roster moves in preparations for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. For those who are unfamiliar with this draft, Paul DePodesta does a good job of explaining it in this post.

He then explains the decision to place up and coming talent onto the 40-man roster for the sake of prehobiting any other team from snagging them, a la the Royals plucking Joakim Soria from the farm a few years back.

As we do every year we held a series of meetings with a large group of our baseball personnel (front office, field staff, and scouts), and ultimately decided on adding the following players: Matt Bush, Cesar Carrillo, Luis Durango, Jose Lobaton, Jackson Quezada, and Cesar Ramos. That brings our roster to 37 players, so we still have a few spots remaining as we approach the beginning of the winter.

Of that list, all but Carrillo are former Wizards.

In other former Wizards news, the Paul McAnulty experiment is relocating to Boston, who took little time in adding a new fourth outfielder after trading Coco Crisp to the Royals.

Fort Wayne Wizards 2008 Postseason Awards

Following the final game at Memorial Stadium on August 28, the team’s 2008 post-season awards were presented as determined by the Fort Wayne Wizards’ coaching staff, front office personnel and the Times Group Community Publications following the final regular season game at Memorial Stadium on August 28, 2008.

2008 Wizards Postseason Awards
2008 Wizards Postseason Awards Recipients

Infielder Lance Zawadzki was named the Physicians Health Plan Player of the Year. Right-handers Jeremy Hefner and Wynn Pelzer were named the Co-Most Valuable Starting Pitchers and closer Jackson Quezada earned Relief Pitcher of the Year honors. Infielder Zach Brown was named Teammate of the Year and outfielder Brad Chalk received the Community Outreach Player of the Year.

On May 17, Zawadzki was hitting .201 on the season. Since then, he has raised his average nearly 70 points, hitting .279 with seven home runs, 57 runs batted in and a team-best 27 steals in 30 chances entering the game on Thursday. His 27 steals are second-best in the San Diego Padres minor league system.

Hefner and Pelzer have nearly identical stats across to pitching staff. Hefner leads the staff with 10 victories to go with a 3.33 earned run average in 29 games, including 24 starts. He has allowed 117 hits, walked 41 and struck out 144, second best on the staff and in the Padres organization. Pelzer entered his start on Thursday with a 9-5 record, along with a staff-best 2.84 ERA among the starting pitchers with at least 10 starts. In 28 games, including 22 starts and 114 innings, Pelzer had allowed 107 hits, walked 28 and struck out 97. His ERA is second-best within the Padres organization.

Quezada, named to the Midwest League Post Season All-Star team, leads the league and is tied atop the Padres system with 26 saves, converting 26 of 29 opportunities to secure a Wizards victory. He recorded his first save on April 29 and after allowing four runs in his first outing the season on April 4, Quezada has allowed only 15 additional runs.

Brown, who has played a platoon role at first base for the Wizards, earned the Teammate of the Year by his display of sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field. After helping with a in-game promotion with national entertainment act, Myron Noodleman on Saturday, August 16, Brown promptly went out and hit a pair of home runs against the Lansing Lugnuts.

Chalk jumped right into community of Fort Wayne, making appearances at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School to visit with the fourth grade classes during their IDEARC Media Reading Club program, opening day events at area little leagues, signing autographs for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts during their annual overnight events and helping at the annual Wizards Little League clinics.

Today, the Wizards also made an announcement about their new record number of former Wizards to reach the Majors. Somebody should keep track of that stuff. :) Thanks again for another wonderful season Wizards!

Padres to Slash Payroll? What it Means for Former Wizards.

With the news that the Padres will release second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and pitcher Brett Tomko to make room for Wade LeBlanc and Matt Antonelli, anyone can see that the Padres are already making plans for next year. This is the latest in a series of moves that have involved bringing minor league talent to the Padres, and many of them have included former Wizards.

I gotta think there will be many more moves in the remaining days of the 2008 season that could spell opportunities for other former Wizards, which should also make for an interesting Spring Training as the prevailing speculation is that the Padres will continue to slash payroll.

As part of a pitch to get Brian Giles to accept a trade to the Red Sox this past week, a Padres executive painted a stark fiscal picture for 2009, saying club owner John Moores might shrink the payroll to $40 million. [SignonSanDiego -August 9, 2008]

GM Kevin Towers denies this claim, but then again, he also hasn’t seen the budget for 2009 yet. Yet, the Padres already field one of the lowest salaried teams in Major League Baseball.

The Padres don’t have any large contracts on the books for ’09; Giles would be their most expensive player at $9MM unless they choose his $3MM buyout.  After that it’s Jake Peavy at $8MM, Khalil Greene at $6.5MM, Chris Young at $4.5MM, and Adrian Gonzalez at $3MM.  By my count they have six arbitration-eligible players, including Josh Bard, Heath Bell, Scott Hairston, and Jody Gerut [MLBTradeRumors.com].

There is also speculation that John Moores’ divorce is a factor that may adversely impact the team.

California is a community property state, which means Becky Moores — the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs.-John — is in play and there already are indications that player payroll will be cut significantly in 2009 (it’s just over $70 million this year). That’s why the Padres already have worked hard to trade Giles and pitcher Greg Maddux this season, positioning themselves for an early start on the payroll-shedding process [CBSSports.com].

Sean Kazmar with the WizardsSo what does this mean for former Wizards who are trying to crack a big league roster? Certainly, the Padres are trying to add by subtracting. There’s the possibility that the Padres may try to move Khalil Greene and his $6.5MM salary, shich might provide a spot for Sean Kazmar, who made his debut just a couple weeks ago. But the rookie is now learning how to play outfield (a la Chase Headley) during this season’s Arizona Fall League. The move could merely be an attempt to get him more at-bats, or it could mean there is nowhere to play Kazmar in the infield.

Kazmar will join the Peoria Saguaros in the AFL with pitchers Greg Burke, Cesar Carillo, Mike Ekstrom, Wilton Lopez, first baseman Kyle Blanks and outfielders Mike Baxter and Chad Huffman. All of them except for Carillo are former Wizards. If Blanks keeps playing the way he has lately, San Diego may have to move him or Adrian Gonzalez or find a place elsewhere on the diamond for one of the two.

Like Kazmar, Brian Joynt, who played third this season with the Wizards before his promotion to Lake Elsinore will see time in the outfield.

Colt Morton with the WizardsBaxter will also get time at an unfamiliar position. The outfielder hit .270 with seven home runs and 47 RBIs at Double-A San Antonio and will get some looks at catcher. This season has seen three different former Wizards serve the backstop role. Luke Carlin and Nick Hundley have seen the most time between the three, which might suggest Colt Morton could be moved to another team during the offseason. the starting catcher, Josh Bard may not be around for 2009 either if the Friars think Carlin and Hundley can do the job.

Longtime closer, Trevor Hoffman has had some troubles while attempting to nail down games this year. There is divided opinion about whether it is time for a change or not. The Portland pitcher who produced the most saves this year, Jared Wells, is now in the Seattle organization (traded earlier this season). That may bring about an opportunity for Greg Burke, who will see action in the AFL and has collected 23 saves at Double-A San Antonio. Lake Elsinore doesn’t have anyone who is ready to fill that void. And while Jackson Quezada collected 27 saves on minimal opportunities in Fort Wayne, that is probably too big of a jump from Low-A to the MLB (but then again, it worked out well for the Royals and Joakim Soria).

Jackson QuezadaAll this should make for an interesting winter and 2009 Spring Training. There should be some names that are familiar to Fort Wayne fans on the San Diego Roster come opening day. The best part is that we have the whole month of September to see some of these great former Wizards make the most of their opportunities. Chase Headley, Will Venable, Wade LeBlanc, Sean Kazmar, Josh Geer, Dirk Hayhurst, Matt Antonelli, Nick Hundley have joined Jake Peavy on the parent club roster and maybe some others will soon follow.

When you factor in the former Wizards who are with other organizations, there have been nine former Wizards to debut at the MLB level. This ranks second only to 2002, which saw 11 prospects (including Jake Peavy and Oliver Perez) hit the big leagues. With about a month to go, I am sure we’ll see at least 3-4 more.

I’m predicting we’ll see Dale Thayer (P-Rays), Brett Dowdy (SS-Padres), David Freese (3B-Cardinals) this season.

It wouldn’t be too surprising to also see Jon Link who had 35 saves with the White Sox’s Double-A Birmingham Barons and was named the Southern League’s Top Reliever of 2009. He was one of 15 players, and the only reliever, named to the league’s post-season All-Star team and was the lone Baron selected. He was one save shy of the league saves record. But given the Sox’s playoff race, he’s probably a 2009 debut.

Anyone else have thoughts on the Padres prospective 2009 squad and/or which prospects we’ll see make their MLB debuts this season (whether they are in the Padres’ system any longer or not)?

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Luis Cruz, Pierzynski, Burroughs, Quezada

  • Luis Cruz (from the 2003 Wizards’ squad) went 3-4 with a double and his second homer of the season; a two-run shot that broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth to outlast a Louisville rally to give Indianapolis a 5-4 win Thursday night at Victory Field. He launched another homer on Friday to lead the Indians to another victory over the Bats in front of 13,558 fans at Victory Field.
  • Controversy again found A.J. Pierzynski. During a rundown between second and third, Pierzynski appeared to get tagged out after falling, but umpire Doug Eddings called him safe, citing interference by Rays third baseman, Willy Aybar. Replays showed that Pierzynski initiated contact by hitting Aybar with his elbow before falling. So, Pierzynski was awarded third base and scored a couple batters later. The White Sox ended up winning by one run. Both Eddings and Major League Baseball later admitted the blown call.
  • Geoff at Ducksnorts rounds out his reviews of the farm by spotlighting Portland. Looks like he’s softening his stance on Will Venable: “I like Venable’s chances a little better now than I did at the same time last year, but he still looks like a fourth outfielder to me.” He also takes a look at Matt Antonelli, Peter Ciofrone, Wade LeBlanc and more.
  • Yes, you saw Sean Burroughs in the headline. Friar Forecast took a look at Burroughs’ fielding and found that his dissappointing offense underscored his above average defense. Good reading here.
  • It’s a Wizards reunion in San Diego: “[Chase] Headley welcomed newcomers [Josh] Geer and outfielder Will Venable, who also was promoted from Triple-A. The trio and rookie catcher Nick Hundley, along with last night’s starting pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst, helped Double-A San Antonio win the Texas League championship last year. Rookie utility man Sean Kazmar also played for the Missions.”All six of those players are former Wizards as well.
  • Midwest Leaguesaves leader, Jackson Quezada was the lone Fort Wayne representative of the Midwest League postseason all-star roster.
  • Paul DePodesta takes a look at the 2008 late round draftees.
  • Torii Hunter is still doing his thing in the Outfield, having robbed a couple crucial home runs lately.
  • Finally, MadFriars has been going crazy with Wizards-related headlines (subscription required for the links below):

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Cuddyer, Perez, Mercado, Quezada, Pelzer, Kulbecki

  • Michael Cuddyer, the lone Twins player from the Wizards affiliation with Minnesota is likely done for the season after a line drive pegged him during a minor league rehab game. It’s unfortunately because he was expected to provide a boost to the Twin’s playoff run.
  • Oliver Perez continues to befuddle and confuse. He’s always been assocated with unrealized potential, but Oliver Perez has become known as “Big Game Ollie” and seems to come up big when it counts. It just so happens that every game counts right now, and since June 29, Perez is 3-2 with a 1.71 ERA in eight starts. He’s also 7-0 with a 2.28 ERA in games against above-.500 teams.
  • Wade LeBlanc and Kellen Kulbacki are the subjects of a rising star update at Friar Forecast.
  • Angel Mercado hit the first home run of the Wizards’ season. He now leads the Northwest League in dingers while playing with Eugene. Alex Gabriel has a nice (subscriber only) for MadFriar’s profile of the slugger who is also near the top of the team in total bases and slugging percentage.
  • Speaking of MaFriars, John Conniff has posted his interviews with Andy Parrino and Jackson Quezada.
  • Wynn Pelzer and Kellen Kulbecki have been honored by the Padres organization as Pitcher and Player of the Month (hat tip to Friar John).
  • Finally, Geoff from Ducksnorts spotlights Lake Elsinore; which includes many former Wizards.
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