Jered Weaver has had a terrific 12-year career, with a 3.60 ERA (in over 2,000 innings pitched), a 35.0 WAR, and three All-Star Game appearances.

But it’s been a long time since he’s been that Jered Weaver. Take a look at Weaver’s velocity per season since 2010, according to FanGraphs (note: I tweeted this in December):

You don’t need a graph to demonstrate how that velocity is trending. And when you see that, it’s certainly not surprising that Weaver’s 83.0 mph fastball velocity wasn’t good enough to get hitters out in the major leagues last season with the Angels. Weaver had a 5.06 ERA and 5.62 FIP in 178 innings last year for Anaheim, good for a -0.6 WAR.

Despite all of this information, the rebuilding San Diego Padres decided to sign the 34-year-old Weaver in February. Well, not only did they sign Weaver, they put him in their starting rotation. And not only did they place him in the starting rotation, he was one of the three *locks* to be in their rotation entering the final weeks of Spring Training.

Yes, the Padres didn’t exactly have good options for the starting rotation, but it seemed really hard to believe they couldn’t find a better option than a 34-year-old guy that just averaged 83 mph on his fastball and had an ERA over 5. Heck, you might as well see what some rando at Triple-A can do over this. Odds are it can’t be worse. And the “oh well he gives you innings” argument isn’t going to work, because they’re awful innings.

Well, the Padres continue to let Weaver start games, and wouldn’t you know it, the starts continue to go terribly! Last week, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler appeared on the radio and talked about Weaver’s performance, saying Weaver is on a “short leash” due to poor performance:

“We’ve had several performances from Jered that have been not very good, and Jered owns them,” Fowler said. “He’s very matter-of-fact in his quotes — he’s let the team down, he’s very disappointed in his performance. But are we going to let this continue? I think this is a short leash and we’ve got to make some decisions. He started last year very poorly and ended up (12-12) for a sub-.500 team. We’re hoping there’s something left, but the last several performances don’t give us much cause to be positive.”

Lol, please. You knew he was this guy when you signed him. Everyone knew he was this guy.

Fast-forward to Friday night, and here’s Weaver pitching again. Surprise, surprise in the results:

2/3 innings pitched, five hits, seven earned runs, two walks, zero strikeouts. Seven earned runs allowed just 39 pitches into a game. The ERA is now up to 7.44.

It’s worth wondering if the Padres (15-29) truly care, as this is a franchise probably better off accepting what they are and tanking. Now, tanking having positive results is much more difficult in MLB than it is the NBA, for example, but we’ve seen how organizations like the Cubs (ex. Kris Bryant) and Astros (ex. Carlos Correa) have benefited from finishing with terrible records and picking early in the draft. If you’re going to be bad regardless, you’d might as well be full-on awful!

But continuing to let Weaver pitch is probably taking things a bit too far. We already knew this guy was done as an even semi-effective MLB pitcher, and now it’s just getting painful to watch. Hopefully the Padres will finally admit that now.

UPDATE: The Padres would like us to believe that Weaver has been struggling because of “left hip inflammation”, rather than 83-mph fastballs.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.