2007 San Diego Padres Baseball Preview
The San Diego Padres (88- 74) were first in the West once again last year and, once again, they found themselves losing to the Cardinals in the post-season. Their pitching looked great but their hitting faltered. This season, their pitching looks first-class again.
The Padres had the lowest team ERA in the NL-- 3.87. Newly acquired RHP Greg Maddux (15- 14, 4.13 ERA) won’t be the ace, but he’ll be one heck of a number two starter. RHP Chris Young (11- 5, 3.46 ERA), who continuously baffles batters, is the number one guy. Righties Clay Hemsley (11- 12, 3.71 ERA) and Jake Peavy (11- 14, 4.09 ERA) will offer quality work. Closer Trevor Hoffman (0- 2, 2.14 ERA, 46 SV) is phenomenal.
The baseball lines makers have installed San Diego as a 30-1 future bet to win the 2007 world series. These odds seem a little low for a team that will be in one of the toughest divisions in baseball.
This team has a squad of average hitters who are led by Adrian Gonzalez (.304 AVG, 82 RBI, 24 HR). The speedy Dave Roberts is gone, leaving youngster Termel Sledge (.229 AVG, 7 RBI, 2 HR in 38 games) to leadoff. Centerfielder Mike Cameron (.268 AVG, 83 RBI, 22 HR) brings some clout to the number five spot. Catcher Josh Bard (.338 AVG, 40 RBI, 9 HR) is a good fit with this team.
Behind the plate there’s tough defense and in center Cameron is a Gold Glover. Second baseman Marcus Giles is also on sound footing. Some of the young guys, however, will be making rookie mistakes. Sharp handicappers like Maddux like to focus on well defensive clubs when making baseball predictions. Guys like Cameron and Giles are the type of defensive guys that can turn an average team into one of the leagues best.
Bud Black has finally relented and become a big league manager. Why has the former big league pitcher and pitching coach said “yes” after turning down various teams, including the Red Sox, Indians and Rockies? It’s simple-- location, location, location. He’s been living in the San Diego area for years and this is the perfect fit for him. GM Kevin Towers continues to put together teams that win division titles.
In a crowded West, the Padres will be in the mix, and they could come out on top. Overall, this is a sound team. If they can get what they need from their young and old pitchers and find their bats, they’ll be competitive.
For more info on the Padres check out the MLB official page for San Diego.