Padres expected to pursue trades for starting pitching


We heard yesterday that Edinson Volquez is drawing interest from multiple teams, but don’t take that to mean that the Padres are sellers.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Padres will attempt to upgrade their starting rotation leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. While the club currently sits at 38-38 on the year, their starters rank 25th in the majors with a 4.56 ERA. And Heyman hears that they have at least had discussions about a familiar face.

Their limited revenues could prevent serious runs at any ace who may hit the trade market, though in what seems like a positive sign anyway, there’s word Padres people at least internally have discussed some bigger names — including even their former star Jake Peavy (though there’s no evidence they’ll make a serious run at Peavy in particular).

Of course, Peavy was drafted by the Padres in 1999 and spent the first eight years of his career with the club before being traded to the White Sox in July of 2009. Currently sidelined with a non-displaced fracture in his rib cage, the 32-year-old right-hander is still owed around $22 million through the end of 2014.

Not surprisingly, Heyman considers names like Ricky Nolasco and Bud Norris as more realistic targets, though there figures to be plenty of competition for them. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune mentioned the Orioles’ Jake Arrieta as a possibility yesterday.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.