Friday, March 23, 2018
San Diego Padres 2018 season preview
In what was supposed to be another rebuilding year, the San Diego Padres had what was well... a rebuilding season. The finished 4th in the NL West with a 71-91 record, missing the playoffs. With GM A.J. Preller aggressive towards ending the rebuild, the Padres were a surprising team this offseason. Let's take a look at what they did this offseason.
Notable additions: 1B Eric Hosmer, SS Freddy Galvis, RHP Bryan Mitchell, 3B Chase Headley, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Chris Young, RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, C A.J. Ellis, OF Allen Craig.
Notable subtractions: SS Erick Aybar, 2B Yangervis Solarte, 3B Ryan Schimpf, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, LHP Travis Wood, OF Jabari Blash, RHP Jered Weaver.
What they did well: As rebuilders, it was a huge surprise they were able to land Hosmer over teams like the Red Sox, Royals and other contenders.
What they did bad: Hosmer was overpaid.
Sneaky sleeper: As a Yankee fan, it's hard to say, but Jose Pirela was sneaky good in 2017. He had a .288 batting average and hit 10 bombs in just 83 games. As he fights for a starting spot, Pirela can surprise some in 2018. Trust me, he already surprised me.
Incoming outbreak: Despite his low .231 batting average, Hunter Renfroe still bashed 26 balls out of the park in just 445 ABs. Renfroe survived trade rumors in the offseason, and is probably going to be the starting RF this year. If he can avoid injuries, he might hit 30 bombs.
Unsuspected slump: I still strongly believe that the Padres missed their window to trade Brad Hand. Hand's 2.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 79.1 innings in 2017 surprised many, but they should've traded him at the trade deadline. I don't think that his success will last that much.
Blue-chip Bopper: Though this spot should go to Hosmer, I don't like picking new additions in these categories, so I'll go with Wil Myers. Myers was part pf the triple double club, stealing 20 bags and hitting 30 bombs. The best part for San Diego? He's only 27.
Astounding ace: Though it's really Hand, I'll go with their best starter, Clayton Richard. His 4.79 ERA in 197.1 innings doesn't seem too positive, Richard is much better than the stats show, and the Friars know it.
Here's their projected roster, starting with their lineup.
CF Manuel Margot (R)
2B Cory Spangenberg (L)
LF Wil Myers (R)
1B Eric Hosmer (L)
RF Hunter Renfroe (R)
C Austin Hedges (R)
SS Freddy Galvis (S)
3B Carlos Asuaje (L)
Here's their rotation.
LHP Clayton Richard
RHP Dinelson Lamet
RHP Luis Perdomo
RHP Bryan Mitchell
RHP Jordan Lyles
Brad Hand (L) is their closer, with Carter Capps (R), Tyson Ross (R), Phil Maton (R), Matt Strahm (L) and Craig Stammen (R) in the bullpen.
C A.J. Ellis (R), 3B Chase Headley (S), U Jose Pirela (R) and OF Travis Jankowski (L) are on the bench.
Finally, for my prediction, I think the Padres, a still rebuilding team, will miss the playoffs in 2018.