30 Clubs in 30 Days: San Diego Padres

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized
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ImagePerhaps the most unknown team among casual fans in the entire league, the San Diego Padres have quietly built a respectable roster with promising prospects who should emerge as impact performers over the next few seasons.

Manager Buddy Black, who has been with the team since 2007, has managed to hang on to his job in spite of the fact that he has not made the postseason in San Diego. Last year, the Padres overcame an offseason that saw them trade their ace, Mat Latos, and their top offensive prospect, Anthony Rizzo, to improve five games and finish at 76-86.

The offense was led by veterans Chase Headley (.286-31-115) and Carlos Quentin (.261-14-46). Youth also was a contributing factor to the team’s improvement, as C Yasmani Grandal (.297-8-36), 1B Yonder Alonso (.273-9-62), and RHP Andrew Cashner (3-4, 4.27) all showed that the promise that has followed them for years may be finally coming to fruition. 

For San Diego to contend in 2013, they will need continued production from their youth as well as a healthy Quentin in left field. The rotation, led by the duo of LHP Clayton Richard (14-14, 3.99) and RHP Edinson Volquez (11-11, 4.14), is strong at the top but not very deep. Veteran Jason Marquis (6-7, 4.04) showed that he still has something left in the tank. The back end will rely on a combination of Marquis, Cashner, Eric Stults (8-3, 2.92), and Tyson Ross (2-11, 6.50). The latter was a former top prospect for Oakland who showed promise in 2011 before falling completely into disarray in 2012.

Five Year Review

2012: 76-86
2011:
71-91
2010:
90-72
2009:
75-87
2008:
63-99

Key Acquisitions

3B Cody Ransom (Arizona Diamondbacks)
RHP Tyson Ross (Oakland Athletics
RHP Fautino De Los Santos (Milwaukee Brewers)

Key Departures

RHP Dustin Moseley (unsigned)
LHP Josh Spence (New York Yankees)
LHP Andrew Werner (Oakland Athletics)

2013 Projected Lineup

SS Everth Cabrera – .244-3-33, 40 SB
3B Jedd Gyorko – .258-15-55
LF Carlos Quentin – .254-20-68
1B Yonder Alonso – .266-12-69
RF Will Venable – .249-11-49, 19 SB
CF Cameron Maybin – .254-10-53, 23 SB
C Nick Hundley – .225-5-28
2B Alexi Amarista – .255-2-15

RHP Edinson Volquez – 9-10, 4.10
LHP Clayton Richard – 10-12, 4.12
RHP Jason Marquis – 7-10, 4.44
LHP Eric Stults – 7-8, 4.26
RHP Tyson Ross – 5-5, 4.34

RHP Huston Street – 3-3, 2.89, 31 SV
RHP Luke Gregerson – 3-2, 3.05, 1 SV

2013 Outlook

The news would be better for Padres fans had Chase Headley not been lost for the first 6-8 weeks of the season due to injury. To make things even worse for their offense, promising young C Yasmani Grandal is suspended for the first 50 games of the season due to violating the league’s ban on performance-enhancing drugs. That is two out of the team’s three best hitters last season that will miss at least the first month and a half of the season.

The team has some young arms. But, they are unproven, and who knows how they will perform on the big stage. One can expect Volquez and Richard to perform as they typically do. But, can Marquis and Stults replicate their 2012 performances? Also, what will the team get out of Andrew Cashner, a fireballer who was the centerpiece of their Anthony Rizzo deal with the Cubs in 2011.

Overall, the Padres would seem to be a trendy pick to finish .500 with a healthy Headley and a non-suspended Grandal. But, one cannot do anything about the transgressions of the past. I foresee the Padres struggling early and improving as the season goes on. Their final win total will be between 73-79 games, good for fourth or fifth in the National League West.

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