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San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance

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Tuesday June 18th, 2013

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the Padres sit just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36-34 record—a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10.  Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 - 24 in their last 58 games played

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the club sits just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36 -34 record —a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10. Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 – 24 in their last 58 games played.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The NL West is not exactly living up to expectations, though. The Dodgers are having a disaster year with Matt Kemp, the team’s superstar, spending time on the DL. Hanley Ramirez, whom the Dodgers acquired last season to provide offense, has spent all but a few games on the DL. Carl Crawford, who the Dodgers expected to be healthy this year, has also caught the injury bug. 

 Stults, the number one starter, is 6-5 with a great 3.28 ERA over 90.2 innings. Marquis has gotten more run support, holding an outstanding 9-2 record with a 3.63 ERA over 84.1 innings. Pitching in the notorious pitcher’s haven that is Petco Park helps, but I think that it is safe to say that these starters are the real deal. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Stults, the number one starter, is 6-5 with a great 3.28 ERA over 90.2 innings. Marquis has gotten more run support, holding an outstanding 9-2 record with a 3.63 ERA over 84.1 innings. Pitching in the notorious pitcher’s haven that is Petco Park helps, but I think that it is safe to say that these starters are the real deal. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi,

The San Francisco Giants are not the World Series-winning team that they were in 2012. Their pitching has not been up to par, with Matt Cain struggling mightily, Tim Lincecum seeming to have lost it, Ryan Vogelsong pitching terribly until his injury, and the bullpen not being a sure-thing.

The Diamondbacks, the team atop the standings, have not been playing too badly, getting a boost from rookie starter Patrick Corbin, among others. The Rockies have also been playing well, although they could see a drop in the standings due to the injury to their star, Troy Tulowitzki.

With a division as wide open as the NL West seems to be, it looks like the Padres could have a chance this year. I think a scenario in which the Padres go over .500 and make the playoffs is very unlikely, but who knows.

If guys like Everth Cabrera, Jason Marquis, and Kyle Blanks can keep up what they are currently doing, the Padres might be contenders. Cabrera has definitely been one of the guys that the Padres can rely on. This year, he is hitting a very respectable .299 with 31 stolen bases already. 31! Cabrera stole 44 all of last year and he was among the leaders.

It looks like Cabrera will easily shatter his total from last year. He is one of the keys to the Pad’s lineup as he sets the table for guys like Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin.

Kyle Blanks has been one of the bigger offensive surprises this year, hitting .282 with seven HR and 23 RBI. Will Venable and Jedd Gyorko have also surprised, both with eight HRs.

Also helping the offensive cause is the fact that not a single regular is hitting below .220. This could change, as Venable is teetering above, hitting .227. Most guys are between .260 and .290, which is a reason why the team has managed to stay around .500..

Pitching-wise, Jason Marquis and Eric Stults have been very good.Andrew Cashner, whom the Padres acquired from the Cubs, has also put together a solid 2013 campaign, going 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 71.2 innings. No one would have expected the club to have three solid starters.

It will be very tough for these pitchers to be able to keep up their current play throughout a 162 game season, but if they do, I could see the Padres winning upwards of 80 games this year.

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup.  Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around.  Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race.  An 80-85-win season might not bring the Padres to the playoffs, but it would definitely boost the confidence of the team and its fans. A season like that could cause the team to become buyers in the offseason. And, if the rest of the NL West continues to struggle, I could see the Padres as a possible Wild Card. The key for the San Diego Padres in 2013 is to stay healthy and try as hard as they can to keep up what they are doing. And, with a little luck, we might see the Padres playing in October.

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup. Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around. Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race. An 80-85-win season might not bring the Padres to the playoffs, but it would definitely boost the confidence of the team and its fans. A season like that could cause the team to become buyers in the offseason. And, if the rest of the NL West continues to struggle, I could see the Padres as a possible Wild Card. The key for the San Diego Padres in 2013 is to stay healthy and try as hard as they can to keep up what they are doing. And, with a little luck, we might see the Padres playing in October.

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***

Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter.

Bernie Olshansky

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About bernieolshansky

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve experienced some exciting times with the local baseball teams—the Giants winning the World Series being the most memorable highlight. Some of my favorite players include Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Cliff Lee among others. I played baseball up through my freshman year of high school and transitioned into being a full time fan. I regularly attend major and minor league games when I have free time. I enjoy working at a baseball store. I’m in my senior year of high school and hope to major in Journalism or Sports Administration in college. Follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky).

Posted on June 18, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance.

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