“Padres-Move into 1st place-MLB Underachiever”
It’s summer and baseball’s pennant races have now kicked into high gear.
The PADRES have moved into first place, whether they want to know it or not, they are ranked #1 in underachieving in the first third of the MLB season.
Pick any offensive stat you want and they are below water: team batting average, runners in scoring position average, runners on 3rd base average, DH batting averages, catcher’s batting averages. It goes on and on.
Add in the fact the starting pitching is not what it was a year ago,probably because of the innings piled up, and it’s been a struggle. Luckily there are still 108-games left to be played for Soto-Machado-Tatis-Cronenworth-Boegaerts to earn their money.
There are other troubled teams too, for lots of reasons.
PHILLIES…Start with Bryce Harper missing a large segment of the first 40-games-recovering from elbow surgery. Trea Turner has not hit in Philly like he hit in Dodgers Stadium. Kyle Schwarber has been benched, not hitting, very little power.
METS…No contributions from Max Scherzer-Justin Verlander because of injuries and a suspension. All their starting depth is on the DL including Jose Quintana and Carlos Carrasco. And a suspect bullpen after losing their ace closer Edwin Diaz with that injury in the WBC. At least the Mets are hitting.
CARDINALS…Yes they have Arenado and Goldschmidt, but the acquisition of power hitting catcher Will Contreras has not panned out yet. The big issue virtually the entire outfield, Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill and Lance Nootbar, have all been on the DL with all types of injuries. Adam Wainwright and Steven Matz have done nothing on the mound the first third of the season. And maybe they miss the leadership of Yadier Molina. They’re playing a bit better but don’t look like a complete team.
BREWERS…Just like a bunch of other teams, ailing pitchers have killed the start to their season. Take Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burns, Adrian Houser, Eri Lauer and Aaron Ashby out of your rotation, and what do you have? Colin Rea as your starter. A troubled start to the season.
BLUE JAYS…They sure look good on paper with that diverse batting order, but it has equated to only a .500-start and a last place in the standings in the very tough AL East. George Springer suddenly looks like an old play. Nagging injuries to Vlad Guerrero, Beau Bichette and Brandon Belt have not helped yet. Matt Chapman has shown flashes. Being in that division makes it tougher to mount a comeback.
CLEVELAND…A surprise team a year ago with so many young guys playing well around young veteran star Jose Ramirez. This year, Ramirez is not hitting up to standards and none of the kids are hitting at all. They have very good pitching, but unless Naylor-Straw-Giminez-Kwan-Rosario start hitting, it won’t be a good summer on the Lakefront.
MARINERS…A similar story of last year’s bright young team. Julio Rodriguez hitting in the .240s which is stunning. Ditto for Teo Hernandez and JP Crawford and Eugenio Suarez. Jared Kelenic has overcome a rocky first year. There’s not alot of power around them in the batting order. Luis Castillo and a young pitching staff needs better run support.
So the Padres are in first place, in the underachieving category. Everyone has 100-games left to make it come together. But some of these teams are digging too big a hole to come back from.