‘Baseball–We Have Baseball”
We have a pennant race to follow…we have problems too with all the teams here in Southern California, in LA and San Diego..
Glancing at storylines worth following as we head into the heat of summer and the heat of the pennant race.
PADRES…The starters have a combined 3.12-ERA this season, and for the first time in a long time, the depth of potential starters may well save the Friars. Think about this, Joe Musgrove is in the running for the Cy Young Award. Mackenzie Gore has to be mentioned as a Rookie of the Year candidate. Add in Yu Darvish and you have big time trustworthy arms. Blake Snell remains an enigma, struggling to survive in some of his starts, yet you see dominance at times too. Nick Martinez has become a real surprise with his quality starts. Who knows about Mike Clevinger, in the rotation and doing well, then out with a knee, or a forearm or Covid. wiping out some of his starts,
Adrian Morejon appears on the brink of arriving as a major league pitcher, possibly as a starter or a long reliever. It is surprising how Ryan Weathers has given ground and is struggling in El Paso. But I’d take the Friars starters above the other teams in the NL West.
The bullpen is getting lots of work and they may have to ssot Taylor Rodgers a bit, not to burn him out. He had 16-saves in 17-outings, but has slipped some recently. Who knows about Drew Pomeranz when he comes off the DL. Help could be coming quickly with a healthy Jose Castillo, finishing up rehab outings in El Paso. We have seen real value in outings by setup guys Robert Suarez and Luis Garcia, but can they keep going at this pace? The same with Craig Stammen, the senior member of this staff.
Not going to say the Padres are living on borrowed time with this batting order, but there are still alot of underachievers in the lineup card. Will Myers is out six weeks, rejecting knee surgery on a cartilage flap. Surgery would solve it, but he’s not interested in going there. Fernando Tatis had another CT exam on his wrist. Maybe he starts swinging a bat soon and maybe there is a July return. If not that is a blow to a lineup that needs El Nino in the middle of it. Manny Machado is in line for MVP consideration. He is having a rock solid-superstar season.
Eric Hosmer was hot early, is not hot now. Hard to believe you can hit .357 for 6-weeks, then hit .179 the next four weeks. Jake Cronenworth seems to be finding his stroke. Luke Voit is controlling his swing, and starting to deliver. Some first half for Jurickson Profar, but can he keep it up? Is Nomar Mazara a good stop gap contributor or just a journeyman. Trent Grisham is still sub .200, and the catching productivity is spotty. Ha Kim is a (.211) hitter at brs- but you cannot discount his glove. They need hits from somebody to protect MVP-Manny in that order.
What’s alarming is the Padres are at the bottom of all the critical metrics on offense in baseball. They may not be capable of hitting much better. That puts so much pressure on the pithing staff.
The Friars are in the middle of 20-game stretch where they should clean up against the bottom feeders in the National League. But then they lose a couple to Colorado, just the like the bad early season losses to Pittsburgh and others.
DODGERS….Luckily for the Padres, the Dodgers have injury issues. LA has to go 8-weeks without Walker Beuhler with the elbow flareup. No one knows if Clayton Kershaw back can hold up. Hard to believe Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson went a combined (13-0) to start the season, maybe save the season. There’s really nothing left at Oklahoma City and there’s no timeline yet on Dustin May returning from last year’s elbow surgery, and it’s been over a year.
Add in the erratic outings of Craig Kimbrel, and LA looks suspect.
And the only salve might be if outcast Trevor Bauer wins his grievance and is reinstated. Do you think a desperate Dodgers team would consider bringing him back despite all the things he got himself involved in with women and rough sex incidents?
All not well in the LA batting order either. Justin Turner looks like he has lost his bat speed. Cody Bellinger is still struggling the low .200s, surely not MVP numbers. The bench looks weak. Hot young prospect Edwin Rios is out with a torn hamstring.
And Manager Dave Roberts is asking where is the sense of urgency from Dodgers players in the lineup, a lineup that is not as good as was first advertised after Freddie Freeman’s arrival. Of course there is still alot of baseball left for Mookie Betts and Trea Turner, but those guys cannot pitch.
LA may still get its entire lineup going at one given time, but it does not appear they have enough healthy pitching,.
It’s a two team race, but neither one is a complete team and may not be able to patch the problems they are encountering on the roster. The difference is the Dodgers have a history of taking on stars and big salaries around the trading deadline. Don’t rule that out as a way for LA to rally the situation. The Padres have spent all the money they can, and have traded away so mamny young prospects too, they may not have the currency to go get another name player when we get to crunch time.
A pennant race that might turn into a war of attrition could be coming to Petco Park and Dodgers Stadium.