Weaver on 'short leash,' says Padres exec

Weaver on 'short leash,' says Padres exec

SAN DIEGO -- Jered Weaver's job could hinge on his next start. The struggling 12-year-veteran righty has "a short leash," according to Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler.

In an interview with the Mighty 1090, a local radio station, on Wednesday, Fowler expressed his disappointment with Weaver's performance this season.

Weaver, who signed a one-year deal with the Padres in February, opened the year with quality outings in three of his first four starts. Since then, he has allowed 22 runs (17 earned) in his past three outings.

Weaver fans five over six frames

On the season, Weaver has posted a 6.81 ERA, third-highest among qualified starting pitchers. The Padres have lost all seven of his starts, and he leads the Majors with 14 home runs allowed.

"We've had several performances from Jered that have been not very good," Fowler said. "And Jered owns them. ... But are we going to let this continue? I think it's a short leash. We've got to make some decisions."

Fowler was quick to note Weaver's slow start to the 2016 campaign as well, before the veteran was able to rebound. But Weaver is 34 and has seen diminished fastball velocity the past couple years. It currently sits as the lowest in the Majors, at 84.1 mph.

To his credit, Weaver has fully owned his performance. In a self-aware postgame interview after Tuesday's start, Weaver acknowledged his situation.

"It's been frustrating, not being able to throw the ball the way I want to," Weaver said. "I know the nature of this business. If it keeps going the way it is, I might find myself on a couch here soon."

He later added: "If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'm not going to be here. I'm not blind to that. I've seen it happen over the years. I've got to keep a positive mindset ... and get myself through this process."

Weaver will make his next scheduled start Sunday in Chicago against the White Sox. If he struggles again, there's a possibility it could be his last.

If so, it's a conclusion that doesn't befit his otherwise impressive career. In 12 seasons -- the first 11 of which came with the Angels -- Weaver owns a 3.60 ERA, 150 wins and has finished in the top five in Cy Young Award voting three times.

"We did take a chance on him," Fowler said. "He's had an outstanding career with the Angels. ... It was a risk. We didn't bring him in to be our No. 1 or No. 2 starter. We were hoping that there's more left in the tank. At this point, it doesn't appear we were right, and we're not going to let it continue for a long period of time. We like the way he's owning it, at least, and not trying to walk from it."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.