The Padres head out on a death march of a road trip tonite, heading in the wrong direction, out of the playoff race..
The pitchers aren’t pitching well. The big bats are not hitting consistently. The defense keeps kicking balls around.
And the leadership doesn’t have any answers either.
This 10-game road junket will likely end the Padres season, before it even gets to the All Star break. So much for my prediction back in the Cactus League, they could go (90-72). Of course, that was based on what was on paper and what these guys had done in the past.
Matt Kemp is not a leadoff hitter, and unfortunately he hasn’t shown he is much of a hitter in the 3rd spot, 4th spot or in the 5th hole. He plays hard, his defense has been better than expected. But there are too many (2-for-18) stretches, and a batting average now in the .240s.
Justin Upton has been solid, especially hitting home runs, and has held up better than expected in left.
Derek Norris has been all out every night, glove, bat, grit. He seems the only thing holding this roster together.
Wil Myers has shown he can hit, and a willingness to play anywhere they want him, but he has been hurt. He gave the Padres whatever credibility they had in the leadoff spot.
Yonder Alonso is now living up to the expectations he brought with him from Cincinnati, healthy and hitting, and playing a rock-solid defense.
Jedd Gyorko has stopped hitting. It’s really be almost a year and a half, and you wonder if he will ever gather his rookie season credentials back in.
An occasional big hit from Will Middlebrooks, and once-in-awhile contribution from Clint Barmes, and a hope Alexi Amirista can get hot, is just not enough, coupled with the defensive liabilities we have seen.
And how do you like Melvin Upton’s 15M a year contract and that batting average in the .150s?
The pitching is so far removed from a year ago, it’s shocking, but that’s what lots of innings to arms last year, can mean this year. They have never gotten dominant on the mound this season. And aside from Craig Kimbrel’s glare and stare and saves, and the early success of James Shields, there isn’t enough on that staff to trust.
Pat Murphy has seen lots of good baseball in his career, but he probably cannot believe what he sees now. Not much of a leadoff hitter, no table setter, and not much consistency, aside from Upton after that. They cannot find the right bats for the right slots. Cannot find a catalyst. Can’t create rallies consistently.
Sure they have an explosive inning here or there, or beat up a bad team’s pitching staff, but there is never a connection one game to the next where you can say it’s come together.
This is a big disappointment here at midseason.
GM AJ Preller took all these gambles, and only half of them are working out. And he traded away 11-top young prospects and five former first round draft picks, to make these winter transactions. Now there is nothing left to call up; he has a bunch of bad contracts he’s stuck with, and some significant roster problems.
The international signing period for Caribbean players opens today, and even the GMs track record of signing those type of players, since coming to San Diego has not been impressive. They said they bid on some key Cubans, but you don’t see any Yasmany Tomas’ in this biatting order yet.
Guess we will have to hold off on his Hall of Fame induction, just like we may have to hold off ordering postseason playoff tickets.