The Padres have announced their full Opening Day 25-man roster, and one omission rubs me the wrong way. I'm usually one of the types who doesn't get worked up about roster moves because the people putting the rosters together are professional baseball lifers and I'm just some idiot sitting on a couch, but how on earth are you gonna pass Jemile Weeks over in favor of Adam Rosales? Adam Rosales?!? Nothing against Mr. Rosales; I'm sure he's a fine, upstanding human being who is way better at life than he is baseball. Why, as a matter of fact, I recall manager Andy Green saying that when he was at AAA in the Reds organization, he requested that they give him the most clean-living teammate as a roommate, and they put him with Adam Rosales. HEY! WAIT A MINUTE! CRONYISM?!? THAT ISN'T COOL. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NEW AGE OF MERIT AND ACCOUNTABILITY?
Jemile Weeks hit .360/ .407/ .585 with eight extra-base hits and 14 RBI in 53 spring at-bats, and was a perfect four-for-four in the stolen base department, all while showing excellent defense even at shortstop, a position he had previously played for just a few professional innings. Upright citizen Rosales, on the other hand, hit .283/ .365/ .522 with just five extra-base hits and 10 RBI in 46 at-bats, and didn't as much as attempt to steal a base. He and Weeks both walked six times, but Rosales struck out 11 times to Weeks's nine. One thing Rosales has that Weeks doesn't, however, is the ability to play first base, which - whoop-de-doo - is basically irrelevant because Brett Wallace is already around to do that when Wil Myers isn't.
"But these are just spring stats, Joe," you may or may not be saying - I don't know; I'm not a mind reader. Fine, then, let's look at their track records. Rosales is a month shy of being 33-years old, which is about 64 in baseball years, and has made it clear in portions of eight major league seasons what he can do. And that precisely is "Not much". He's a .227/ .294/ .342 hitter with 27 homers in 1,226 plate appearances spread over 430 games, and is an absolute liability on the basepaths. In six seasons in AAA - where he should be starting this season - he's a .284/ .343/ .449 hitter with 34 home runs in 1,421 trips to the plate, and the vast majority of his 344 games have been in the Pacific Coast League, a notorious hitter's environment.
Jemile Weeks is considerably younger - by nearly four years - and has hit .261/ .322/ .360 in 1,011 trips to the plate during five major league seasons. You might note that every component of his slash line is considerably better than that of Rosales, in nearly as many plate appearances. His AAA numbers are comparable, with a .270/ .371/ .369 line in 1,405 plate appearances. He doesn't have the slight home run power that Rosales brings to the table, but he has hit 44 major league doubles to go with 53 in AAA. All of this was done while battling various injuries, which undoubtedly supressed his impressive stolen base totals of 43 in AAA and 40 at the highest level.
While Rosales will almost undoubtedly be placed on waivers at some point this season and wind up practicing his craft for somebody's AAA club, as that's just the way things go for him, and Weeks will likely get the call up to San Diego, this still seems like a slap in the face. A stinging slap with a sweaty, filthy glove that was just used to spread fertilizer. Perhaps this is all just maneuvering and there's a trade in the works that will make sense of it; if not, I'm genuinely at a loss.