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2008 San Diego Padres Baseball Preview

The San Diego Padres (89- 74) had the best ERA (3.70) in the league and one of the lowest batting averages. And although pitching wins championships, teams need to hit better than .251 to go all the way.

Last season, Jake Peavy (19- 6, 2.54 ERA, 240 SO) won the pitching Triple Crown—19 wins, 2.54 ERA and 240 Ks. He uses both sides of the plate, offsetting his fastball with a late breaking slider and variable speed curveball. Righty Greg Maddux (14- 11, 4.14 ERA, 104 SO), who has won 17 Gold Gloves, is an accomplished hurler with a fastball that befuddles hitters. His changeup makes batters buckle. Chris Young (9- 8, 3.12 ERA, 167 SO), who struggled with injuries last season, has a sneaky 88- 90 mph fastball and a tricky slider. He’s an effective flyball pitcher. Closer Trevor Hoffman (4- 5, 2.98 ERA, 42 SV, 44 SO, .228 BAA) combines his changeup and fastball to keep hitters off balance. With 524 saves, he’s the all-time MLB leader.

There’s not a .300 hitter on this team. Catcher Josh Bard (.285 BA, 5 HR, 51 RBI) is the closest the Padres have. A switch-hitter, he’s best from the right side of the plate. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez (.282 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI) pumped out 79 extra-base hits, a franchise record. He’s got great power. His biggest dilemma is a lack of protection in the batting order, which mean’s opponents don’t have to pitch to him. Shortstop Khalil Greene’s (.254 BA, 27 HR, 97 RBI) aggressive bat often results in either homeruns or strikeouts. He’s prone to swing at bad pitches but is becoming more disciplined.

The Padres were decent in the field, ranking fifth in fielding percentage (.985). At first base, Gonzalez offers topnotch defensive play, while at short, Greene uses soft hands and a fine arm to make big plays. Kevin Kouzmanoff plays a marginal third, while catcher Bard is weak behind the plate.

Manager Bud Black weathered his rookie season well, despite the fact that his club could not bring home the bacon. GM Kevin Towers, who has tough budget limits, does a good job at finding productive players.

Read more on the Padres other NL West division competitors like the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants.

For more info on the Padres check out the MLB official page for San Diego.

 

2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews


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