Category Archives: San Diego Padres

2018 NL West Predictions

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles wasn’t very active this offseason, but that is because they really don’t have any weaknesses to fill. The Dodgers have a terrific lineup led by Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, and Yasiel Puig. However, the other players in their lineup like Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe, and Austin Barnes are all solid contributors as well. The Dodgers are also very deep as they have Yasmani Grandal, Joc Pederson, and Chase Utley as proven players that are currently scheduled to be bench players in 2018. Los Angeles also has arguably the best starting rotation in the MLB led by Clayton Kershaw who is probably the best pitcher in the entire MLB. However, the team has 4 above average starting pitchers behind him with Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers also have a very good bullpen led by elite closer Kenley Jansen. Josh Fields and Pedro Baez also had very good years last season as late-inning options in the Dodgers bullpen. Los Angeles could use some more depth in their bullpen, although they are certainly set in the late innings with Jansen, Fields, and Baez. There really isn’t a weakness on this Dodgers roster and they are not only the favorites to win the NL west, but they also are probably the favorites in the NL to make the world series.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona surprisingly was one of the best teams in the national league last season, but they are out to prove that last year wasn’t just a fluke. In fact, the Diamondbacks are a team that should be able to once again compete for a playoff spot in 2018. The Diamondbacks did lose J.D. Martinez this offseason which will hurt Arizona a little bit. However, they did replace him somewhat by trading for right fielder Steven Souza Jr. from the Rays. Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and A.J. Pollock are the ones that will likely carry the offense for Arizona and their lineup is good overall. However, the middle infield appears to be the area of weakness for the Diamondbacks as Ketel Marte, Nick Ahmed, and Chris Owings will compete for starting jobs at 2nd base and shortstop. None of those guys provide much offensive capability and the Diamondbacks should have found better replacements at those positions. Meanwhile, the starting pitching appears to be a strength for Arizona heading into the 2018 season. They have Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray as all-star caliber pitchers that will lead the top of the starting rotation. However, they are also really deep with starting pitching as Taijuan Walker and Patrick Corbin are above average pitchers as well. Pitching in Arizona isn’t easy, but those 4 guys are certainly proven MLB pitchers that are up to the task. The bullpen could be decent for Arizona in 2018, but it will be a lot different than it was last season. Archie Bradley had a terrific 2017 season and now he is expected to be the new closer for the Diamondbacks in 2018. Brad Boxberger is a reliable late-inning option for the Diamondbacks and he has closer experience if Bradley struggles in that role. Yoshihisa Hirano was acquired to be another late-inning option for Arizona, but he has never pitched in the MLB and it is unknown what he will provide. Arizona needs more depth in their bullpen and they need someone besides Boxberger and Bradley to step up. The Diamondbacks have a few weaknesses on this roster, so they probably won’t be able to compete with the Dodgers for the division title. However, Arizona still is a very good team that should be able to make the playoffs in 2018.

3. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies were a playoff team in 2017 as they had improved pitching and a lineup that continues to dominate. Colorado still has Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Ian Desmond, Trevory Story, and Gerardo Parra. That is quite the lineup especially if Arenado and Blackmon continue to play at an MVP-caliber level. We all know that the Rockies will score a ton of runs as they always seemingly do. However, pitching is the one thing that really continues to hold them back. Jon Gray is the clear ace of the Rockies pitching staff and he performed well last season especially considering that he was pitching at Coors Field most of the time. The rest of the rotation is filled mostly with really young starting pitchers that were very inconsistent last season. Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, and Tyler Anderson all pitched well at times last season, but they all need to improve if the Rockies starting pitching is going to be good. However, it will help that Freeland and Marquez have a year of experience now and hopefully they can continue to try and reach their full potential. Meanwhile, the Rockies bullpen should be better this year especially with the signing of elite closer Wade Davis and quality setup man Bryan Shaw. However, the Rockies have plenty of bullpen depth as they have Mike Dunn, Adam Ottavino, and Jake McGee that are all quality relief pitchers. If the bullpen can be good then it would be a huge step towards being a playoff team once again in 2018. Colorado is playing in a really tough division and they also have a few tough teams in the NL to compete with, but if their pitching can continue to improve then they should be a playoff contender for sure.

4. San Francisco Giants

San Francisco is another team that made offseason upgrades in order to try and make the playoffs in 2018 as they added all-star caliber players Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. The Giants already had a decent lineup with Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford. However, adding Longoria and McCutchen to the mix will only make the Giants a much better offensive team. The Giants starting rotation also has the potential to be decent especially if star pitcher Madison Bumgarner can stay healthy. They also have Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija who are proven MLB pitchers, but they both need to pitch much better than they did last season if the Giants want to have a good rotation. Also, the Giants don’t have much behind those guys in the rotation, so they need to at least find decent 4th and 5th starters. Meanwhile, the Giants have a decent bullpen as they have Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Hunter Strickland, and Tony Watson. All of those guys are good late-inning options, but the main question for the Giants is which one of those relievers will be the closer in 2018. It seems the Giants have the lineup to compete in the highly competitive NL West. However, it is the lack of pitching especially with the starting rotation that could really hold this team back.

5. San Diego Padres

The Padres are clearly the worst team in the NL west heading into 2018 as the other 4 teams in the division are playoff contenders. However, the Padres are a team that is heading in the right direction especially with the major signing of Eric Hosmer this offseason. San Diego should have plenty of power in the middle of their lineup with Wil Myers and Hosmer carrying the offense. However, the Padres need support from the other position players if they want to improve. Specifically, the Padres need their young players like Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, and Carlos Asuaje to continue to improve. The major concern for San Diego is that they have arguably the worst rotation in the entire MLB. Clayton Richard is the leading pitcher in their rotation, but he didn’t have a good year in 2017. The key for the Padres rotation will be young pitchers Luis Perdomo and Dinelson Lamet. Both of those pitchers weren’t very successful last season, but they will get plenty of opportunities to prove themselves this season. If they can live up to their potential, then the Padres rotation has a chance to at least be decent. Meanwhile, the Padres could be good especially with all-star closer Brad Hand leading the way. Craig Stammen is also a good late-inning option, but the Padres need more out of the rest of the bullpen if they want to be successful. The Padres will probably be a better team in 2018 especially with the addition of Hosmer. However, the Padres still have many holes on their roster and this year will be more about their young players improving rather than trying to be a playoff team.


Padres re-sign Lyles to a 1-year deal

The San Diego Padres are bringing back a starting pitcher that didn’t perform very well for the team last season as they have decided to re-sign Jordan Lyles to a 1-year/$1 million deal. If the Padres are looking to be a more respectable team next season then this is definitely not the right move to make. Lyles shouldn’t be on any MLB roster at this point because he has been so terrible throughout his career and yet he still finds a way to continue to stick around in the MLB. He was designated for assignment by the Rockies in August because he performed terribly in a bullpen role for Colorado. However, he was even worse in 5 starts for San Diego as he went 1-3 with a horrendous 9.39 ERA. In total, he went 1-5 with a 7.75 ERA in 38 appearances for the Rockies and Padres last season. Lyles does provide some versatility as he can be a long relief pitcher or he can slide into the 5th starter role for San Diego, but I’m not quite sure if he will benefit the Padres in either role. The Padres need to at least sign some decent pitchers on one-year deals rather than taking a chance on Lyles who has a terrible career ERA of 5.43. Maybe Lyles can surprise and have a decent 2018 season for the first time in his career, but the production throughout the rest of his career suggests otherwise. This is an awful signing for the Padres and it is one that only makes their team worse.

Grade: F

jordan lyles

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.


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-


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+


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-