No, I’m not the type to be happy when someone is hurt. I wish Padilla a quick, full and easy recovery.
But the reality is that he’s not doing the team any good right now – and I’m not just referring to his struggles.
If it were possible, I would send Millwood and Padilla down to AAA anyways, giving all the starts possible to Loe, McCarthy (assuming he does indeed return soon), and Tejeda plus some combination of Wood, Koronka, Cruceta, Rupe (when he’s ready) and by August – Hurley.
The upside to failing fast is there’s no reason not to give these young arms experience and a chance to break through now. If just 1 or 2 of them become winners by late next season, the Rangers could be ready for contention again as early as 2009.
In the meantime, Millwood and Padilla need to get healthy and figure some things out. They’re veterans who don’t need big league innings to do either. Plus, as Jamey Newberg points out, I won’t be surprised to see both of them suddenly improve in late ’08 and all of 2009 when they’re in money years of their contracts. I’ve been having similar thoughts on that, and while I won’t go as far as Jamey and predict a division crown for the Rangers in ’09 (there are too many things Hicks and Daniels can and likely will screw up between then and now), I do believe it’s a real possibility. If…
In the meantime, enjoy a good rest, Vicente. See you in a few weeks, months, next year – whenever, really, take your time!