Sunday, March 4, 2012

30 Teams in 30 Days: San Diego Padres

2011 Record: 71-91

Key Additions: Mark Kotsay, Huston Street, Edison Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Carlos Quentin, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Supann, Micah Owings

Subtractions: Heath Bell, Chad Qualls, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Harang, Mat Latos, Anthony Rizzo

2012 Outlook: The Padres had a very busy off-season, arguably one of the best among the 30 MLB teams. GM Josh Byrnes continued to add prospects to a top 3 farm system, as well as add depth to the major league team. He traded away Ace Mat Latos to the Reds for a package that included Yonder Alonso, and Edison Volquez. Volquez is a major part of that deal in my mind, because he clearly has the potential to be a good number 2, or a decent number 1, as shown in his fantastic 2008 year. It should also be noted that Volquez, who had a 3.21 era in his rookie season in 2008, was pitching in one of the best hitters park in the MLB. This season, he will be pitching in one of the best pitchers park in the MLB, which will definitely help his numbers. After the Padres acquired another First Baseman prospect in Alonso, they traded there own prospect, Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs for some more depth in their system. The Padres lost Heath Bell to the Miami Marlins, so Byrnes traded for Huston Street, who is cheaper than Bell, younger than Bell, and will likely have a better year than him.

Another brilliant move by Hoyer was trading for the powerful All-Star Carlos Quentin, who could be the Padres best offensive player. San Diego will need to have major years from there young hitters, including the likes of Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso, and have solid offensive seasons from the vets, like Quentin, Orlando Hudson, and Jason Bartlett.

Something that barring any injuries won't be a problem will be their pitching. The Padres were third in the league in 2011 in Team ERA, with a 3.42 mark, and that should improve this season, even though they traded their best pitcher, Mat Latos. All 5 of the Padres starters have the potential to have sub 3.30 era's, and that is a major reason why they are the sleepers for the 2012 NL West.

Huston Street and Luke Gregerson will lead the Padres stellar bullpen, and Tim Thatcher is in line to have an amazing comeback year to return to his 2009-2010 form. Josh Spence, Andrew Cashner, Micah Owings, and Ernesto Frieri will round out the 'pen this season for the Padres.

The Final Count: 73-89, 5th in NL West

The Padres have the potential to win the West, but their offense would have to play above their potential, and their pitching will have to repeat their success from last season for that to happen. What will likely happen is the Padres will have another rebuilding season, and thier mass of prospects will continue to grow. 2012 may not be the year for San Diego, but 2013-2015 looks very promising, especially with the new playoff format.

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1 comment:

  1. Great evaluation of the Padres. I also see them finishing fifth in the West and coming out of nowhere in the near future to take over that division.