San Diego Padres Season Preview: Not Quite Ready

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Updated: March 22, 2013

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The 2012 San Diego Padres finished in fourth place in the NL West and were never really in contention. In 2013 they boast a formidable rotation and a third baseman that may be the best in the game. With Chase Headley locked and loaded, and spacious PETCO Park promising to bolster the excellent Padres’ staff, can we expect more in 2013?

Projected Lineup

  1. Everth Cabrera (SS)
  2. Chris Denorfia (RF)
  3. Chase Headley (3B)
  4. Carlos Quentin (LF)
  5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
  6. Cameron Maybin (CF)
  7. Jedd Gyorko (2B)
  8. Nick Hundley (C)

Projected Rotation

  •  Edinson Volquez
  • Clayton Richard
  • Jason Marquis
  • Eric Stultz
  • Andrew Cashner (?)

Strengths:

Chase Headley: Chase Headley put together arguably the most impressive second half in Major League Baseball in 2012, capping it off with a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. He lead the National League with 115 RBI’s while hitting 31 homeruns, all despite the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park. Headley enters the ’13 campaign looking to further legitimize his status as a premier third baseman on both sides of the ball. He gives a struggling, small-market franchise something to build around.

Farm System: ESPN’s Keith Law ranked the Padres’ farm system 6th best in Major League Baseball for a reason. Although Casey Kelly’s Tommy John stalls the career of a potential immediate impact player, his return will mark a much needed boost for a developing staff. Jedd Gyorko will battle for a starting spot while the lower levels carry some of the league’s best prospects like Max Fried (LHP), Austin Hedges (C), and Joe Ross (RHP).

Weaknesses:

Cameron Maybin: Cameron Maybin was horrible in 2012. After signing a 5 year/$25 million contract, Maybin proceeded to hit .243 with 20 doubles and 8 homeruns. The color commentary during every Cameron Maybin at-bat last season featured at least one mention of a new stance he was currently working on with his hitting coach. His speed and defense will always be consistent, but his offensive production needs to increase if the Padres hope to ever compete in the division.

Front Office: Although the O’Malley Family’s acquisition of the Padres last season represents a beacon of hope for the historically abysmal franchise, the front office failed to make the necessary moves this offseason to put a competitive team on the field. While the headlines were dominated by Southern California teams spending money and loading their lineups, the Padres managed to resign Jason Marquis and lose Casey Kelly and Andrew Cashner to injury. A friend summed up the Padres leadership best with this evaluation of recent trades: “They managed to trade Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox so the Cubs could get Anthony Rizzo.” The complete overhaul we’re waiting for will have to wait yet another year.

Storylines: 

Does Cameron Maybin finally use his tremendous physical skills to compile a 20/20 season? (And we’re not talking about doubles and errors…)

Can Andrew Cashner ever stay healthy? Can Carlos Quentin?

Is Eric Stultz really 2.92 ERA good?

Who will be traded at midseason?

Prediction: 

76-86, 4th place, NL West. The pitching staff will be good and Chase Headley’s success last year was legit, but this is still a team that features Chris Denorfia, Nick Hundley, and Jedd Gyorko in the everyday lineup. Sean is high on their pitching and thinks that the staff could keep them relevant through July, but ultimately these Padres are not quite ready to compete for a playoff spot in the season’s final months.

Bold Predictions

  • Yonder Alonso leads the league in doubles while still hitting .238.
  • Max Fried wins two games in September.
  • Chase Headley finishes second in NL MVP voting.
  • 2013 will be Bud Black’s final season managing the Padres.

-Kyle Casey

Stat of the Day: Rodney Atkins is a quality country music artist.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Eric Stults,Good Again, All Star Bound? | Off The Bench

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