The Struggling Padres' Turnaround Plan? Reunite The 2006 Cardinals Rotation

The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series despite bad starting pitching. They had Chris Carpenter and a brigade of abysmal complements: Jeff Weaver, Anthony Reyes, and Jeff Suppan. During the regular season, washed-up Mark Mulder, Sidney Ponson, and Jason Marquis also started. Yeah. It was grisly. But the Cardinals won, because the Mets' starters forgot how to stay healthy and because the Tigers forgot how to field. David Eckstein was the World Series MVP. It was a kind of magic.

Evidently the 2012 San Diego Padres, who are 17-34, took a cue from St. Louis, six years later, and began a mission to recapture that magic. They're doing their best to reunite that awful bunch.

Jeff Suppan recently joined the Padres from the minors, and the team just signed Marquis to a minor-league deal. (Suppan and Marquis are pictured above, horsing around back in the day.) Where does Anthony Reyes pitch now? Funny you should ask. He—along with 2007 Cardinal Kip Wells—pitches for the AAA Tucson Padres. He was just promoted to their rotation. Weaver, Mulder, and Ponson all have retired. Otherwise they might be in the Padres organization too.

This gang was mediocre then, but now? Suppan has a 5.28 ERA in six starts, with 13 walks to only seven strikeouts in more than 30 innings. Marquis allowed 33 runs in 34 innings with the Twins. Reyes hasn't seen big-league time since 2009, but in his first start for the AAA Padres last night, he allowed nine hits and four runs in three innings.

Granted, the Padres have lots of injured pitchers—Cory Luebke, Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley, Joe Wieland—and few viable replacements. But what about Jorge Reyes? Casey Kelly? Surely there's a better solution than this.