Towers says changes likely after loss

GM Towers says changes on way

SAN DIEGO -- General manager Kevin Towers knows that he is culpable for helping to assemble a team that has underachieved this season, though that does not mean he is willing to sit still while the Padres keep losing.

"We're bad, no question about it," Towers said Monday. "You can't just say it's early in the season. I haven't seen any signs in the last couple weeks that lead me to believe or our fans to believe we're going to turn this thing around.

"It's up to the guys in this clubhouse. I am certainly not going to watch this for four more months."

On the day before the Padres put reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy on the 15-day disabled list with swelling and strained muscles in his right elbow, Towers talked with reporters candidly about a team that dropped to 16-30 following an 8-2 loss Monday to the Cardinals.

Last season, the Padres didn't suffer their 30th loss until June 21, when they were perched atop the National League West Division. But following their loss to St. Louis, the Padres' 24th loss in the last 32 games, they have the worst record in the Major Leagues.

"You're looking for even a little bit of progress," Towers said. "It's like Groundhog's Day, over and over."

Towers not only talked honestly about the shortcomings of a team that was expected to contend for the NL West title, but addressed team morale, the team's shortcoming and what might be done to fix it all.

"I guess I'm holding out hope the light will go on," Towers said.

So far, it hasn't.

The Padres rank at or near last in about every pertinent offensive category. Towers said that other than Brian Giles (.311 batting average) and Adrian Gonzalez (11 home runs, 34 RBIs) the rest of the offense has been sub-par. But that wasn't all.

"We've not run the bases very well, played shabby defense. We're 0-23 trailing after the seventh inning," Towers said. "I'd like to see guys bouncing on the plate for once [after a victory]."

The Padres have already made some moves with hopes of improving the team, such as releasing veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds. Towers all but promised Monday that more new faces could be on the way.

That could mean outfielder Chase Headley gets recalled from Triple-A Portland, though Towers essentially said that any subsequent moves might resemble wholesale changes more than just one particular move.

"We've got young players down the road looking for an opportunity," Towers said. "They may eventually get it. I think if we make those changes, we'll bring a group. You bring one particular player, so he's looked at as the savior who is going to turn things around."

Towers said the possible moves wouldn't just be players who are deemed prospects, but possibly players from Triple-A Portland who might be Minor League veterans but who are having success offensively. Possibilities there are infielder Brian Myrow (.345, five homers, 30 RBIs) or outfielder Chip Ambres (.268-8-28).

Towers also addressed team morale.

"I hear morale is good, but I can't believe it's good," he said. "When you hear the morale is good, then we've got major issues. If morale is good, then they have no expectations of getting better. That's not what championship ballclubs are about.

"Morale should be horrible right now."

Towers said the team's dismal start is a reflection on everyone, himself, the front office, the coaching staff and the players. He talked about playing for the name on the front of the jerseys and about pride.

"To me when I wake up and look at the box score and see San Diego at the bottom, that hurts," Towers said. "Seeing where we're at in the standings, it's a reflection on all of us. I just hope we all have the same feeling when we wake up and look at the box score. If we don't, then you shouldn't be here."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.