“Padres–Not Ready for Prime Time”
We are just a week away from the start of the Padres baseball season, and they don’t look ready.
A three and a half week spring training camp, and a 16-game Cactus League schedule, all the result of the 99-day CBA lockout, will not help.
What appeared to be a promising opening of the season sure doesn’t feel that way.
Start with pitching.
Mike Clevinger hadn’t thrown in a game in 17-months, the aftermath of his his November 2020 forearm surgery. He was shelled by the Giants, giving up 8-runs, 7-hits, 2-home runs in a poor spring training debut.
Clevinger had two ramp up minor league outings and gets credit for being macho, but the Giants didn’t care what he said, or how hard he threw, they laced him.
The righthander could be left behind when camp breaks. He looks a long way from being part of the rotation.
Blake Snell, the highly paid 6-inning starter, has yet to throw in a Cactus League game. He says nothing wrong, just being cautious to get ready for the season. But how can one of your aces be ready for the 32-starts in the season, with just one spring training outing?
Now the news that supposed closer Drew Pomeranz is on the 60-day DL, the end result of his forearm surgery, another box to check off on the list of injuries that have plagued him since coming back to San Diego. Now they say he won’t be back till June, if there are no setbacks between now and then.
Pomeranz was supposed to replace Mark Melancon, who left after one really strong season as the closer, before heading to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Maybe Dinelson Lamet winds up closing. Maybe it’s closer by committee. It’s surely not Emilio Pagan, smashed in his last outing, much like he was at the end of last season, when he nearly pitched himself off the roster.
Waiting to see what another Japanese import, Robert Suarez can do when it counts. And ex-Cardinal Luis Garcia is gone with oblique issues , likely headed to the injured list to start the season.
Only time will tell if Nick Martinez, also coming from Japan, is ready to be an established starter. He wasn’t years ago with Texas.
Ryan Weathers has had one good outing, one shaky outing, and now looks like a lock to have to take the ball, once Joe Musgrove-Yu Darvish and Snell have had their turn.
No one is talking about Chris Paddack either, whose slide from dominant rookie to just a guy in the rotation has been dramatic.
Mackenzie Gore has had 3-good outings in spring, but it so young, so untested and so unreliable mechanically, we know he hasn’t done much above AA ball.
There is no Adrian Morejon either, the midst of his own arm surgery.
The pitching staff does not look like it’s ready for a 162-game season does it?
Add in the gaping hole in the batting order with Fernando Tatis out at least 3-months with wrist surgery.
Keep in mind a collection of utilitymen like Matt Beaty, Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar, to rotate in left field.
The Padres have 4-catchers, some who hit but don’t do well behind the plate, others with gloves, but not much with bats.
There is no true ‘scare you’ DH on the roster either.
I can’t get the visions of that (12-36) finish last year out of my mind, and can’t forget the horrors of all those starting pitchers going down with injuries.
So just beyond 7-days from the start of the season, this does not look like a team ready to challenge to win the division does it?.