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San Diego Padres State Of The Union For 2014

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years.  It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.  How does this team jump from +2200 to +1700 in such a small time in the NL West.  Someone put a lot of cabbage on San Diego.  I think the Pad Sqauad are in the mid 60's wins range, stay away from this longshot.

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years. It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.  I think the Pad Squad are in the mid 60’s wins range by the time it is all said and done this year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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This season could get real ugly for the Padres in 2014.

As of right now, here are the injuries the team has endured for Spring Training.

Cameron Maybin is out till mid to late April with ruptured biceps tendon.  Josh Johnson will miss a month with a strained right forearm, Corey Luebke is gone for the year with his 2nd Tommy John Surgery, and Joe Wieland also had an elbow surgery.

Among the latest issues, Carlos Quentin is doubtful for the opener today with a sore knee, Catcher Yasmani Grandal is questionable, recovering from knee surgery – while Chase Headley (strained right calf) and Chris Denorfia (sore right shoulder) are probable for tonight’s North American MLB Opener.

Joaquin Benoit had done everything the Tigers have asked him,  This man has been in 268 games over the last 4 years, and featured a mid 2 ERA.  His success early in the year may see him take over the Closers role, and free up the team to trade Huston Street for long-term assets.

Joaquin Benoit had done everything the Tigers have asked him, This man has been in 268 games over the last 4 years, and featured a mid 2 ERA. His success early in the year may see him take over the Closers role, and free up the team to trade Huston Street for long-term assets.  Benoit inked a 2 YR deal with San Diego in the winter, that will see him earn a minimum of $15.5 MIL during that time.  The club pays him $14 MIL in salary for 2014 -2015, and retains a $8 MIL salary in 2016 – if he finished 55 games.  The club could buy him out for $1 ,5 MIL in that even

This team has a lot going against it to begin with in the NL West, with the powerhouse Dodgers and Giants already residing in the Division.

This website has picked San Diego to bottom feed both in the NL West, but we also all feel that the Padres may challenge the Cubs for the worst overall record in the NL.

Betting them under their 79 wins total was one of the biggest bet wagers on the board for us.

The franchise has left Xavier Nady on the roster to start the season.  I am all for giving out chances, but this guy hasn’t seen good days in the MLB for over 4 seasons.

Granted the 35 Year Old has put together a nice Spring Training in earning it, however to have him part of the opening day roster is scary.

He might thrive in a smaller role like a PH.

I hate most of the moves the club has done since the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Trading Luke Gregerson for 4th OF Seth Smith has to be one of the dumbest moves I have come across.

Giving away a setup Reliever – who has fashioned a 2.88 ERA in 347 IP during his career for a guy who is not going to see 500 AB this season is bad business.

Smith and Gregerson are near the same age, are both Free Agents in 2015, and when the club is out of contention later in 2014, Smith will not fetch nearly as much in a trade that Gregerson would have.

Look for Smith to go .240/.325/.400 in his AB for San Diego.

Carlos Quentin is hurt….there is a surprise right?  He has missed 158 games over the last 2 years for the Pod’s.

Granted he has played decently for the time he has been on the field, with 29 HRs and 90 RBI for the 560 AB in 2012 – 2013, the problem is that he has injury problems.

San Diego is paying this man $ 9 MIL per year to be sidelined half of the time.

I am sure when Quentin is in the games, he will hit .260./.350/.500 – and will wear several baseball off his body for HBP’s.

Patrolling CF for the hurt Maybin will be 31 Year Old Will Venable.

This Lefty was one of about a dozen players to go 20 HRs/20 SB last season with 22/21 respectively.

He has a nice amount of speed and power, and will adjust back to LF when Maybin is taken off the DL.

Venable has a career OPS of .753 – and should provide more of the same in 2014.

Chris Denorfia will get the call in LF to start with if Quentin can’t go tonight.  RF would go to Seth Smith probably.

Giving even more credence to my earlier statement of the Gregerson for Smith trade, this guy was already going join Quentin, Venable and Maybin as the 4 to play beyond the grass.

Smith was an unnecessary piece to bring in.

Back to Denorfia, he has a decent career BA of .280 – and has shown he can put the bat on the all, while drawing the odd walk.

Chase Headley should be the team’s top offensive player in 2014, but that was also the case in 2013.

This guy was out of his head in the 2nd half of 2012, which has made it impossible to sign him long-term because he is seeking too much money.

After leading the NL in RBI in 2012 (115) and smacking 31 HRs, the 29 Year Old Switch Hitter managed just 12 HRs and 50 RBI for 2013.

Headley career 162 Game Average says he is a 16 HRs and 72 RBI man, with  a 3 Slash of .269/.350/.415.

I think this is more reflective of who he is – and that Post ALL – Star Headley of 2012 was more of an aberration.

The franchise can’t delve into risky long-term deals – and as such, should trade this player before they lose him at the end of the season.

Jedd Gyorko can easily over to 3B and the organization has depth with Alexi Amarista listed as the 2B backup.

Yasmani Grandal and Everth Cabrera both try to move past campaigns they were both suspended for PED use during 2014.

While I think Cabrera will fare fine, (Steal 45 bags, plate 90 Runs – and be the teams leadoff man), I am worried about Grandal.

The Catcher only saw 108 AB in 2013, and connected on just 1 HR, losing his gig to Nick Hundley.

The new backstopper Hundley should hit in the teens for HRs, but he will Strikeout well over a 100 times, without bringing forth many walks.

First Base sees Yonder Alonso begins his 3rd year as the Starter.  He has only netted 20 HRs and 125 AB in his 1st 1000 MLB AB.

His offensive output has to improve quickly – or he could be riding pine.

Tommy Medica has made club based on his strong March output, and he has a more thunderous stick from the position.

My prediction is that these two guys may end up in a platoon until the man with better numbers win the job outright.

Second Base has the aforementioned Jedd Gyorko manning the post.  This sophomore player led the team in HRs (23) and RBI (63) last year – en route to a 6th place finish in the NL Rookie Of The Year Voting.

Gyorko is a huge key to the lineups success.  If Headley can hit for a decent clip of power, all of a sudden there could be a 2B who could help offset the HRs they may miss from the rest of the offense.

Gyorko will need to improve on his walk rate for the upcoming season, (after a .301 OBP rate in 2013, with only 33 BB’s in 486 AB.)

I expect this man to put up similar power stats as last year, but with a full season worth of plate appearances.

Here comes the 2nd year struggle.

If most of the offensive pieces can perform decently enough, than this won’t be the clubs down part of the team.

Starters

Andrew Cashner had a nice 2013 campaign finally, posting a 3.09 ERA in 175 IP, with most of them being Game Starts.

The key will be to stay on the field.  The RHP has fought through a myriad of injuries in his young career.

Having consecutive decent years will go a long way to silence the critics that hated the trade involving Anthony Rizzo.

Ian Kennedy fits right in with the club’s mantra.  A guy who plays well for spurts, but you just don’t what you have with this RHP.

In 2011, the guy led the NL with 21 Wins, had a 2.80 ERA – finishing 4th in Cy Young Voting.

Subsequent 4.02 and 4.91 ERA’s in 2012 and 2013 have shown a rapid regression.  This has to be concerning.

At 29 years old, this is a crucial time for Kennedy to rebound.  Petco Park should be a better park to chuck in as oppose to Chase Field in Arizona.

This move by the management (for Joe Thatcher in return) will turn out well if Kennedy can put it together again.

He has one more year of team control, whereas Thatcher was a Free Agent in the 2015 season.

Eric Stults, 33, came from relative obscurity in 2013, to throw 200 innings, and put up respectable ERA’s and WHIP of (3.93 and 1.272).

This LHP provides great depth.  Not bad for a Waiver Claim wire.

Signing Josh Johnson may have looked okay at 1 YR/$8 MIL at the onset, but his latest injury has got to be concerning.

I am not sure he would have been poised for much success in the year anyway, but that clause of the team having for next year (2015, for $4 MIL based on 7 Games Started or less in 2014 may occur.)

I implore the Padres to just walkaway in that event.

Johnson is a longtime away removed from his 2009 and 2010 form, where he was 26 – 11 combined, and won the NL ERA title with a 2.30 ERA mark in 2010.

He has shown to have struggled in years he doesn’t work a full campaign, highlighted by his 6.20 ERA in 16 Game Starts for Toronto last year.

Tyson Ross and Robbie Erlin are the back end starters.  Both are young and could continue to improve.

If these guys can stay around .500 with a mid 3 ERA combined, this team would be happy.

The Relief Core is still anchored by 233 Save man Huston Street.  The 9 Year Veteran has a lifetime ERA of 2.98, that includes 3 years of playing in Colorado.

With the team also possessing Joaquin Benoit on the roster, I fully expect Street to be traded through the year sometime.

Speaking of Benoit.  He was the clubs main offseason Free Agent Signing.  This guy received a raw deal by the rest of the fans in Detroit for his 2013 ALCS performance.

The man had his best year in Motown, with a 2.01 ERA in 67 IP – and nailed down 24 Saves.

Benoit has appeared in 268 games over the last four seasons, and has a mid 2 ERA for that time frame.

Alex Torres was a great steal by management, in a deal that saw Logan Forsythe head to Tampa Bay.

The RHP had a brilliant season in the Rays pen, with a 1.71 ERA and 0.897 WHIP in 58 IP during 2013.

Bullpen help is hard to find, and this guy had some dominant stretches last year.

Dale Thayer and Tim Stauffer offer veteran leadership in the late innings, and Nick Vincent has a 1.98 ERA after lugging his 1st 72 frame worth of work round out the top 6.

The Relief Core should be good in 2014, but that has never been a problem with the Padres stemming back the time to Trevor Hoffman.

The team needs too many variables to go right for a playoff spot in 2014.  They play 76 games versus the tough NL West.

The injuries will probably play as a negative on the squad, and I am not sold in any of their Starters remaining consistent.

I am projecting 63 – 66 wins for the club.  Then again I could be wrong.

Chase Headley had an incredible 2012 - where he led the NL in RBI, and cracked the 30 HR Barrier.  The club did not sign him to an extension - nor did they trade him before the 2013 campaign, which has meaning.  While it is great they didn't make a long - term mistake, they also de-valued their asset, should the team decide to trade him before he hits Free Agency in 2015.  The Padres 3B hit for a 3 Slash Line of .247/.350/.747 - with 13 HRs and 50 RBI in 520 AB this previous campaign.  Headley is probably gone out of San Diego no matter what happens this year.

Chase Headley had an incredible 2012 – where he led the NL in RBI, and cracked the 30 HR Barrier. The club did not sign him to an extension – nor did they trade him before the 2013 campaign, which has meaning. While it is great they didn’t make a long – term mistake, they also de-valued their asset, should the team decide to trade him before he hits Free Agency in 2015. The Padres 3B hit for a 3 Slash Line of .247/.350/.397 – with 13 HRs and 50 RBI in 520 AB for 2013. Headley is probably gone out of San Diego no matter what happens this year.

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

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Posted on March 30, 2014, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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