Time for my mid-season rant about Vicente Padilla, and why the Phillies were fools for trading him, as it turned out, for absolutely nothing.
You might remember the deal, considered at the time "addition by subtraction." The Phillies were unwilling to pay $4 million in arbitration, so he was traded straight up for Ricardo Rodriguez, who was cut in spring training.
At the very least, Beerleaguer believed the Phillies could have used Padilla’s organization-best fastball in the bullpen to miss some bats, back when the Phils were predicting Rule 5 pick Chris Booker to be their "seventh-inning man."
Meanwhile, Texas must be thrilled to have the equivalent of a free starting pitcher this day and age, when A.J. Burnett, the statistical equivalent, earned a 5-year deal. Burnett sure looked sharp in his start against the Phils.
In Texas, Padilla pitched eight innings and gave up a run on four hits Saturday. He’s 7-5 with a 4.47 ERA and is one of the main reasons why Texas is closing in on the AL West lead. Over the last four home starts, he’s 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA.
Here's the recap of his last start from texasrangers.com:
"Locating fastballs with precision, starter Vicente Padilla diced the Astros lineup for eight innings, outdueling starter Roy Oswalt and snapping Texas' five-game losing streak in front of 40,177 at Ameriquest Field in Arlington.
"Padilla tossed a season-high 111 pitches, and 79 found the strike zone. He allowed just four hits, a run and struck out five.
" 'The key to Vicente is his fastball," said catcher Rod Barajas. "It is his best pitch and when he is on and he is locating, he can be very tough. Tonight, he located it, whether up or down or on both sides of the plate.'"
Pat Gillick knew his team was so loaded with pitching, we could afford to give away a guy who may very well end up with a better season than all of his starters. Well, only the starters who haven't been charged with assault. I wonder if the Phillies will do an "addition by subtraction" with Brett Myers.
Yes indeed, it's fortunate the Phillies disinfected the team of a player of Padilla's character.
Watch him spread the cancerous uncooperativeness here in front of 40,000 strong.