“Teams in Town-Tons of Topics”
While I was gone on vacation, a lot happened. Here’s what I see, what I know.
PADRES-1st PLACE…Well that was nice for a couple of weeks, the quick start, but now reality has set in. Reality that they offense still is not producing. Reality they seem to have a hole at 2nd base. Reality that their starting pitchers are going just 5-innings per start. Reality that there seems to be a lot of stress on the bullpen, and we are just 20-plus games into the season.
BATTING ORDER….They started quickly with a top of the batting order anchored by Ian Kindler, followed by Will Myers, then Manny Macao, Eric Hosmer, Hunter Renfroe. Then the musical chairs started and Andy Green keeps changing that batting order daily. Set it up, leave it alone, quit experimenting. Let the proven players settle in.
BLACK HOLE…Luis Urias is headed back to AAA-El Paso, dragging with him a (.081) batting average back to the minor leagues. A little too much, too son. Kinsler has hit well in the past, and he will hit again, though it is surprising in that he had a strong spring and now is down in the (.161) range. Greg Garcia is just a guy. It may well be that career journeyman Jose Pirela, who has hit, gets the job again
GREAT DEBATE…..Francsico Mejia is still here, catching once in awhile, and hitting in the (.180) range. So the discussion rages on, shouldn’t he be catching everyday in El Paso rather than sitting more than playing with the Padres?
MANNY-HO-WILL….That’s a lot of money the three big names are earning. Machado is hitting in the (.250s)…..Myers had a good start (.291) with the bat, but not so much with the glove…Hosmer is hitting in the.(220s). Just wondering if one gets hot, will the others follow. They better.
TATIS TALENTS….He’s everything that they advertised, with the glove at shortstop, and at times with the bat (.291). Fernando Tatis has hit with some power, gets extra base hits, does run the bases with abandon. His defensive plays, diving, chasing, throwing, covering have really been impressive for someone age-20. Just call him El Nino. He might be as exciting a rookie as San Diego has seen since Tony Gwynn, and that was a long time ago.
KID ARMS…A nice first week or so for the young starters, but they are getting knocked around a bit more. Getting Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, Chris Paddock past the 5th inning of their starts does not seem to be part of the game plan. Protecting young arms the real priority.
NICK THE QUICK…Nick Margevicius has been more than impressive in his first couple of starts. Bears watching to see if his outings get shakier after the last bad outing Handling him like the others, with kid gloves for that arm, but very impressive.
STRAHM STARTING….Aside from a couple of rocky outings, Matt Strahm is building arm strength, has more good outings than bad, and seems to holding up well to the workload a starting pitcher has to endure. So far so good, but truly not an ace.
BULLPEN BRIGADE….They won’t raise a red flag, and the personality of Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates won’t allow them to even think about white flags, but they’ve been called on way too much the first month of the season. Finding some quality long relief innings will be important going forward.
DOWN ON THE FARM….Remembering the old Saturday Night Live skit, “Not ready for prime time players’, the young arms are not dominating in Triple-Double A, so I doubt you will see Cal Quantrill, Logan Allen or Adrian Morejon any time soon. Between them, eight minor league starts this year, only two quality outings, and high ERAs.
GM GAME PLAN…AJ Preller has shown no interest in dealing prospects, nor international signing bonus slot money in any trades. Nor does he seem interested in a 1-year contract for 18-million for still unsigned Dallas Keuchel. That may change if this downhill slope ride continues. The Padres just snapped a 6-game losing streak. Much of that caused by lack of hitting, and teams catching up to the kid pitchers. Another losing streak might force Preller to reconsider his roster makeup.
THE STANDINGS…That was the talent laden Dodgers blowing by the Padres this past week in the standings. And doing that mostly without pitching icon Clayton Kershaw. LA is bombing people with home run hitters. Spending two weeks in first place was nice, but that is no longer the norm in San Diego. Now as we turn into May, we still don’t know what kind of team the Padres really halve, not even with Machado in the batting order,and the kid pitchers here.