Category Archives: San Diego Padres

3 Takeways from opening day

3. The San Diego Padres are a worse team than we expected

There aren’t very high expectations heading into the season as they are terrible in every aspect of their roster. However, opening day just proved how terrible this team will likely be this season and they could even be worse than I expected. San Diego lost 14-3 to the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day. Sure, the Dodgers could compete for a world series this year, but there is never an excuse for a team to allow 14 runs on opening day. Jhoulys Chacin is supposedly the team’s best starting pitcher and if he is the best that they have then I don’t really want to see their worst pitcher because he allowed 9 runs in just 3.1 innings of work. The bullpen for the Padres wasn’t much better, so there doesn’t look to be much hope for the Padres pitching staff. San Diego didn’t do well offensively either, but I expected that considering that they were facing Clayton Kershaw. However, the Padres are basically a minor league team playing at the major league level and they had many players playing today with very little MLB experience. San Diego should be a better team as the season goes on, but right now I’m not sure they even deserve to compete at the MLB level because they looked awful on opening today.

2. Blake Treinen surprisingly could be a good closer for the Nationals

The Nationals had a major question mark as to who their closer would be heading into this season after elite closer Mark Melancon left in free agency. Blake Treinen was just recently named the team’s closer and he certainly didn’t disappoint on opening day. Treinen was faced with a save situation and he made it look easy as he had 2 strikeouts to close out the Marlins in a 4-2 victory on Monday. Treinen faced three really tough hitters and he made them look foolish. It is only opening day, so Treinen could still get worse, but at least he eased some of the concern in the closer role for now.

1. Kansas City might be rebuilding soon once again

Just a couple of years ago, the Kansas City Royals were the best team in the MLB and yet they now are showing signs that they aren’t even contenders anymore. Kansas City suffered an embarrassing loss on opening day as the lowly Minnesota Twins demolished the Royals 7-1. Danny Duffy was outstanding for the Royals, but after he left the game the Royals just completely fell apart. Kansas City’s bullpen was terrible as they allowed 6 runs in only 2 innings of work combined and that is a concern as that has been the strength of their team in recent years. Also, the offense only managed 1 run on 3 hits against a Twins pitching staff that isn’t very overpowering. Kansas City has a lot of key players hitting free agency after the season, so they might have to start trading away players and start rebuilding once again this year. The Royals have many areas to improve in order to contend and they can’t lose to teams like Minnesota if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs in 2017.

 

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Biggest need remaining for every NL West Team

Arizona Diamondbacks – Biggest need: Bullpen

The Arizona Diamondbacks had a decent bullpen until they let go of quality relief pitchers like Brad Ziegler, Tyler Clippard, and Daniel Hudson. However, they haven’t done much to replace those guys this offseason. Arizona signed 39-year old Fernando Rodney to be their new closer, but who knows how much production that he has left. Rodney has been inconsistent in recent years and he was awful with a 5.89 ERA with the Marlins last season. Even if he does turn out to be good for Arizona, they still have nobody else besides him in the bullpen. Arizona has a big need for 7th and 8th inning help and time is running out for them to find somebody to fill those roles.

Colorado Rockies – Biggest need: Catcher

Colorado has a really dangerous lineup, but if there is one weakness in their lineup then it is definitely at the catcher position. As of right now, Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy would be the options at catcher for the Rockies. However, neither of those guys have proven that they can be everyday catchers. Wolters is a former infielder and he only hit .259 with 3 home runs in 2016 for Colorado in 71 games played. Those aren’t good offensive stats especially for a guy that plays most of his games at Coors Field. Both Wolters and Murphy are nothing more than backups, but one of them will have to play a lot in 2017 unless the team can find a starting catcher. The Rockies are reportedly interested in Matt Wieters as their new starting catcher which isn’t a bad idea since he provides some more offensive ability than Wolters and Murphy. Either way, the Rockies can’t rely upon Wolters to be their everyday catcher next season and they need a lot of help at the position.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Biggest need: 2nd baseman

The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t have many needs, but they do have a glaring weakness at the 2nd base position with Enrique Hernandez as their projected starter for the 2017 season. That is not good news considering that Hernandez only hit .190 with 7 home runs in 109 games for the Dodgers last season. There aren’t many options available at 2nd base for the Dodgers in free agency, but they should at least add some more depth to the position in order to compete with Hernandez. Los Angeles could always trade for Brian Dozier and fix the problem at 2nd base. However, the Dodgers just need to do something to improve the production out of the 2nd base position.

San Diego Padres – Biggest need: Starting Pitching

San Diego has perhaps the worst starting rotation in all of the MLB heading into next season as their number 1 starter appears to be Christian Friedrich who had a 4.80 ERA in 2016. The Padres have plenty of depth with their starting pitching, but they just don’t have even one starting pitcher that would be a number 3 starter on another team. The free agent starting pitcher market was extremely weak this offseason, yet the Padres should have signed at least one quality starting pitcher. San Diego did sign Jhoulys Chacin, but he won’t do much to make their rotation any better. Overall, the Padres starting rotation is looking terrible for next season unless they make a big move late this offseason which is highly unlikely.

San Francisco Giants – Biggest need: Left Fielder

The San Francisco Giants were in the market for a big time outfielder this offseason. However, they haven’t made any big moves yet and they still are left with a big need for a starting left fielder. Right now Mac Williamson would be the starting left fielder for the Giants and he hasn’t proven much as he is a career .222 hitter with 6 home runs in limited playing time. There are still quality left fielders like Michael Saunders that remain unsigned in free agency, but the Giants just need to do something to find a decent starting left fielder for next season.

Padres re-sign Richard to a 1-year deal

The San Diego Padres are bringing back veteran left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard as they re-signed him to a 1-year/$1.75 million contract. Richard has been a starting pitcher for most of his career, although he did have 27 relief appearances for the Cubs and Padres last season. Richard was productive though as he went 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 games for San Diego in 2016. The Padres are certainly hoping that he can replicate those types of stats as he figures to be a key member of the Padres starting rotation in 2017. San Diego has a very thin starting rotation, so it looks like Richard will be the 3rd starter in their rotation. At least this signing is really cheap for the Padres as they’re only paying him $1.75 million, yet it’s not a good idea for the Padres to be relying upon 33-year old Clayton Richard. He is nothing more than pitching depth at this point in his career and he fits best in the bullpen in a long relief role. San Diego could have gotten a much better pitcher than Richard in free agency this offseason especially since they are expecting him to pitch a lot of innings. This signing doesn’t make too much sense for San Diego, but at least Richard is a bargain signing.

Grade: C-

clayton-richard

Padres sign Chacin to a 1-year deal

The San Diego Padres added some more pitching depth as they signed veteran starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin to a 1-year/$1.75 million deal. Chacin has been a decent pitcher throughout his career especially considering that he spent 6 seasons pitching in Colorado. The Padres really have a weak starting rotation, so Chacin should add at least some stability in that area for San Diego. He should be a good 4th starter for the Padres as he has a career 3.94 ERA and he has proven that he can be a good starting pitcher. I don’t expect the Padres to compete at all next season, but Chacin at least makes this team a little more respectable. If he pitches like he did with the Rockies then this could be a tremendous signing for San Diego and he could end up being the team’s best starter in 2017. San Diego isn’t paying much at all to sign Chacin, so this signing is very low risk. However, this should be a bargain signing for the Padres and it certainly makes their rotation a little bit better.

Grade: B+

jhoulys-chacin

Notable MLB players non-tendered

Here are the notable players that were non-tendered by their teams just prior to Friday’s non-tendered deadline. All of these players are now free agents and can sign with any team.

Chris Carter – 1st baseman – Milwaukee Brewers – 2016 Stats: .222 avg. and 41¬†HR’s

This was a shocking move by the Brewers considering that Carter tied for the national league lead this past season with 41 home runs. However, the issue is that Carter doesn’t play good defense, he strikes out too much, and he doesn’t get on base enough. Still, I don’t think this was a great move for the Brewers to make because they are taking away a tremendous power threat from a relatively weak lineup.

Grade: C-

Welington Castillo – Catcher – Arizona Diamondbacks – 2016 Stats: .264 avg. and 14 HR’s

The Diamondbacks releasing their starting catcher Welington Castillo was by far the worst decision made this offseason by any MLB team. Castillo was very productive last season as he hit .264 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI’s. It’s really difficult to find catchers that can hit in the MLB these days, so for Arizona to get rid of a solid catcher like Castillo is extremely stupid. Also, they are replacing him with Chris Herrmann as the starting catcher who had a decent year as he hit .284 with 6 home runs for Arizona last season in limited time. However, Herman has been awful throughout his career and it’s hard to believe that he’ll be any better now that he is a starting catcher for the first time at 29 years old.

Grade: F

Jeff Locke РStarting Pitcher РPittsburgh Pirates -2016 Stats: 9-8 and 5.44 ERA

This non-tender actually makes a little bit of sense for the Pirates. Sure, he was a productive player at times during his 5 seasons with Pittsburgh. However, he has been too inconsistent and therefore he lost his spot in the Pirates starting rotation. I’m sure a team in need of some pitching depth will sign Locke this offseason. Locke clearly didn’t have a role with Pittsburgh as the Pirates have a lot of young starting pitching that is ready to join the rotation.

Grade: B

Ben Revere – Outfielder – Washington Nationals – 2016 Stats: .217 avg. and 2 HR’s

Ben Revere was a really productive player just in 2015 when he hit .306 with the Phillies and Blue Jays. However, his only season with the Nationals proved to be a disaster as his average dropped dramatically to .217 and he only hit 2 home runs in 103 games played. Revere still could provide something to a team as he still can steal some bases and I expect his average to improve a lot next season. However, the Nationals don’t have the patience for him to improve as they are trying to win immediately. Also, Washington has a really crowded outfield right now, so this is a really good move for the Nationals to give him an opportunity to find a role elsewhere.

Grade: A

Tyson Ross – Starting Pitcher – San Diego Padres – 2016 Stats: 0-1 and 11.81 ERA

I think it was a really poor decision for the Padres to non-tender Tyson Ross. Sure, Ross only had 1 start for San Diego last season before a shoulder injury ended his season. However, when healthy this guy might have been San Diego’s best pitcher as proven by his 2.81 ERA in 2014 and his 3.26 ERA in 2015. I know the Padres are going through a rebuild right now, but Ross is only 29 years old which makes him a long-term option for the team. Also, the Padres have a very poor starting rotation and Ross would have provided at least some more stability to the pitching staff. This was yet another poor decision for a Padres organization that is trying to find a clear direction towards contention that seems really far away right now.

Grade: D-

chris-carter

Nationals acquire Norris from the Padres

The Washington Nationals made kind of a surprising trade on Friday as they acquired Derek Norris from the Padres in exchange for right-handed pitcher Pedro Avila.

Nationals evaluation:

This trade makes sense for the Nationals since they had a need at catcher after Wilson Ramos tore his ACL late last season and he wasn’t expected to re-sign with Washington. Norris brings a very talented catcher in his prime at only 27 years old and most importantly he will help to make the Nationals immediate world series contenders. Norris only hit .186 last season, but he is an all-star caliber catcher so expect those stats to improve in 2017. Norris has very good power for a catcher as he has hit 14 home runs each of the last 2 seasons for the Padres. He won’t be as good as Ramos was last season for the Nationals at the catcher position, but Norris at least provides Washington with a catcher with pretty good offensive abilities. Meanwhile, losing a prospect with plenty of potential like Pedro Avila might hurt the Nationals long-term. However, the Nationals have a pretty good farm system that they can make this trade and be fine, but the priority for the team is clearly to win now. Hopefully Norris can improve his batting average to what it was a couple of years ago, but he is a solid catcher either way that can help the Nationals to win immediately.

Grade: B-

Padres evaluation:

The Padres are in yet another major rebuild mode after their big acquisitions prior to the 2015 season really backfired on them. Derek Norris was one of those big acquisitions that the Padres made in that offseason and he was not quite the productive player that the team expected him to be. Austin Hedges is the catcher of the future for the Padres and it is the right move for the team to give Hedges the opportunity to be the team’s full-time starting catcher. It’s pretty clear that the Padres won’t be close to competing next season with the roster that they have assembled, so getting a pitcher with some potential will help them long-term. Pedro Avila is only 19 years old and he has a 2.93 ERA in 2 seasons in the minor leagues, although he has only reached Class A so far. It will take at least a few years for Avila to reach the MLB, but it’s hard not to like his potential and his ability to strike out hitters. Norris had no use for the Padres any longer and it makes sense to help their team during the rebuild process by acquiring a young pitcher with some good potential.

Grade: B+

derek-norris

 

Drew Pomeranz traded to the Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox desperately needed some starting rotation help which is why the Red Sox traded top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza to the San Diego Padres for Left-Handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

Red Sox Evaluation:

This is a really risky trade for the Red Sox because Pomeranz is 27 years old and yet he hasn’t had this type of production at any other point in his career. Giving up their top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza was a really bold move because Espinoza is considered widely as a top 20 prospect in the MLB. Given time, Espinoza could be an ace in the MLB and long-term this trade for the Red Sox could really be a mistake considering how good Espinoza could be. Pomeranz still has 2 years of club control left at a really cheap price, so at least he is a big bargain for Boston considering that they won’t have to deal with a big salary. Pomeranz has been tremendous this season for the Padres as he has a 8-7 record with a 2.47 ERA. However, the thing that concerns me about Pomeranz is that he had never pitched more than 96 innings in a season prior to this year. Pomeranz has had injury issues in the past and he has struggled with consistent production, so I’m a little bit concerned that this year’s production could just be a fluke. Also, you have to consider that Pomeranz’s success could be attributed to playing in very pitcher-friendly Petco Park this season. Ultimately, Boston had to make a big move to acquire a quality starting pitcher and that’s what they did by acquiring Pomeranz. This is a very bold move since Pomeranz has never had nearly this type of success in the MLB prior to this season and it could be a bad move to get rid of a promising young prospect like Espinoza. Time will only tell how great of a trade this will be and I’m not sold that this was the best move for the Red Sox.

Grade: C+

Padres Evaluation:

In my opinion, this is an outstanding trade for the Padres because Pomeranz wasn’t even expected to do much for the Padres this season, so for them to get a top pitching prospect like Anderson Espinoza then this trade can be considered a huge success. Espinoza is one of the top prospects in baseball and he’s also still really young at only 18 years old. The Padres are having a rough season in 2016 and the Padres farm system has been a disaster since the Padres traded away many of their prospects prior to the 2015 season. Espinoza now becomes the top prospect and he is expected to become a long-term ace in the starting rotation for the Padres. Pomeranz was the best pitcher for San Diego in the 1st half of this season, but he had never had a consistent season at any point in his career prior to the 2016 season. San Diego is just starting the rebuilding process once again, so holding onto Pomeranz didn’t make much sense since they won’t be needing him to contend anytime soon. Also, it was a brilliant move to trade Pomeranz now since he has maximum value and therefore the Padres can get some really good talent in return. Espinoza has a promising young arm as he can reach 99 MPH on the radar gun, but he is likely years away from reaching the major league level. Pomeranz was not a huge part of the Padres future plans, so getting rid of him in order to get a long-term starter like Espinoza was certainly a great trade.

Grade: A

drew pomeranz