San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance
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Tuesday June 18th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
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.
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.
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.
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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. Follow @BernieOlshansky
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Posted on June 18, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bernieolshansky on twitter, Andrew Cashner, arizona diamondbacks, barry zito, baseball, bernie olshansky, bud black, carlos quentin, chase headley, colorado rockies, everth cabrera, hitting, jason marquis, jedd gyorko, lineup, los angeles dodgers, matt cain, mlb, national league, nl west, padres, pitching, RBI leaders 2012, ryan vogelsong, san diego padres, san francisco giants, tim lincecum, will venable, yonder alonso. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.