“Padres–Disappointments Never End”
It’s almost over, the conclusion of another disappointing summer.
Not the hot-humid weather that has engulfed San Diego on a yearly basis for the last decade or so, but rather, another disappointing non playoff summer for the Pades, that has now reached over a decade in a row..
They are not going to finish (81-81) as I had projected in the spring. Instead we are on the brink of another 90-loss season, and 90-losses is 90-losses, regardless of how many promising young pitchers the Padres have unveiled this summer.
Progress, yes some with this franchise, especially the flashes on the mound. Despite all the high ERAs they take with them on this final weekend of the season, there have been a lot more good outings than there have been bad innings for all those young arms.
Compare San Diego to the awful set of stats compiled by the Orioles or Royals or Tigers pitching staffs, and you have to have a positive feeling about going forward.
The recovery from Tommy John surgery by Garrett Richards and Dinelson Lamet means the Padres could have as many as 9-potential starters by he time they go to the Cactus League next February. That plus the group of 100mph relievers who learned on the job thru good and bad outings in the bullpen.
But the feel good segments of the season are off set by the failures of the highest paid players in the everyday lineup.
Not so much Eric Hosmer, who had a solid bounce back season after his 2018 disappointment. Of course the real story is who and what Fernando Tatis became till he went down with a back injury. All that from someone just over 20-years of age.
But if you look at the other established players, you have to be upset, disappointed, maybe even resentful.
Manny Machado faded so badly the second half of the season, it was stunning. He didn’t look like the same player we saw in the first 3-months. For someone making 30M a year, he did not display very much fire.
Heading into the past Dodgers series, Machardo was hitting (.191) since August 1st. Quit being excited about his 30-home run season, what about this (33-172) slide, fraught with strikeouts, and an apparent devil-may-care attitude around the plate. Add to that, this apparent lack of emotional leadership in the clubhouse, and you ask was he really worth a 10Y-300M deal
Baltimore beat writers didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about his Camden Yard stay, not so much the stats, but the person. Just think, the Padres have 9-more years of this to come.
Slump ridden Will Myers, about to embark on a 20M per year payday starting next spring, has given the Padres 2-and-a half summer of streakiness. He’s never been the same guy as the one who slugged his way to the All Star Game at Petco Park a couple of summers ago.
He doesn’t have a lot of fire in his belly. He doesn’t have a lot of consistent defensive play to deliver either. And as we entered this Padres-Dodgers final series at home, Myers was hitting (.211) over the last 3-and-a half months.
So tell me how this number (20M) per yer looks next to these numbers (29-for-135) since June 17th. That’s what Myers wears around his neck heading to the off season.
Hunter Renfroe looked as if he arrived at mid-summer, his defensive play sparkling, his average up, and his home runs. And then it all stopped. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was this nagging ankle injury, maybe they pitched around him. Since July 1st, Renfroe has a (.181) mark, with his name next to the line that reads (35-for-193).
Austin Hedges, a Gold Glove catcher with bat full of holes, has a (.179) batting average for the season.
Once promising Manny Margot has a (.236) mark. Supposed super utility man man Ian Kindler was hitting (.217) before he got hurt.
I don’t know how you can expect to vault to a wild card status team next season if you bring the same cast of characters back en-masse. You are not dealing Machado. I doubt anyone wants Myers and his impending contract. Maybe Hedges becomes a decent bargaining chip. Everybody has utility men, no one needs Kinsler.
And to complicate it all, the Padres do have a lot of players they must account for when they have to turn their 40-man winter roster in. They have 61-veteran players and another 10-hot prospects that must be accounted for.
So while they celebrate fan attendance that bumped up to 2.3M this year, and the fun that Don Orsillo and Mud Grant had nightly on TV, or the honors given to 40-year broadcaster Ted Leitner, or all the cheerleading columns in the newspaper about all these prospects, let’s be realistic.
90-plus losses is 90-plus losses and the Padres have two things for certain. Lots of young talent here and coming, and some bad contracts they are responsible for.
Padres baseball = Summer disappointments. Again.