The Padres are 12-23 heading into Friday’s Jake Peavy/Aaron Cook mound duel, and as expected, pulled the plug earlier today on centerfielder Jim Edmonds.  From the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Bill Center :

Edmonds, 37, was hitting .178 (16-for-90) in 26 games for the Padres with two doubles, one homer and six RBI. An eight-time Gold Glove winner and four-time All-Star, Edmonds also had played below expectations in center.

General Manager Kevin Towers said the decision to release Edmonds was twofold. “Edmonds was not performing at the level we were accustomed to seeing him in St. Louis,” Towers said. “That and the struggles of this ballclub.”

Towers said Edmonds is only a part of the Padres’ problems. “We saw some deficiencies on both offense and defense,” he said. “But our poor play is a reflection on the entire organization. We all need to be held accountable. We should be better than the way we are playing.”

The move was one of three made by the struggling Padres, who have lost 17 of their past 21 games, as they prepared to open a three-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies. They also promoted catcher Luke Carlin from Portland, where he was the backup to top catching prospect Nick Hundley, while optioning catcher Colt Morton back to Double-A San Antonio. And they claimed left-handed pitcher Sean Henn off waivers from the Yankees.

While admiting “there are obvious signs of decline in Edmonds,”, the Transaction Guy opines, “this does come off as somewhat hasty.”

Rather than eating $6M and replacing him with a Gerut/Scott Hairston platoon, the Padres probably should have given Edmonds a little more time to see if he had anything left to give. If not, at least you attempted to get maximum value out of the investment, and if Edmonds did happen to show some glimmer of his former self, perhaps San Diego could have gotten a warm body and some percentage of his salary paid off by another team.

While I don’t disagree with TTG’s general point, Edmonds not only looked atrocious at the plate (striking out more than once every four at bats), but his legendary diving fielding skills seem to have deserted him as well. Every few years, I’m obliged to recall Juan Samuel’s torturous transition to the outfield, and while Edmonds wasn’t nearly that rotten, he seemed to be having greater difficulty judging the path of a fly ball than ever in his career.