2010 San Diego Padres Baseball Preview
In 2005 and 2006, the San Diego Padres won the West and in 2007 they finished just 1.5 games out of first place. In 2008, the team won just 63 games and were 21 games out of first and last season the San Diego Padres (75- 87) were 20 games off the pace. It’s been a precipitous drop for this former contender.
Starter Chris Young (4-6, 5.21 ERA, 50 SO) has battle injuries that have affected his game. When he’s healthy, he can throw strikes with five different pitches, including a fastball that completely fools hitters. Kevin Correia (12-11, 3.91 ERA, 142 SO) came over from the Giants last season and made a difference. He’s a solid number two. Rookie Mat Latos (4-5, 4.62 ERA, 39 S0), a righty, and former White Sox Clayton Richard (9-5, 4.41 ERA, 114 SO), a lefty, both feature fastballs in the mid-90s.
Fifth man Tim Stauffer rounds out the starters (4-7, 3.58 ERA, 53 SO). He’s definitely a backend starter due to his lack of a true strikeout pitch. Heath Bell (6-4, 2.71 ERA, 42 SV, 79 SO) is a dominant, strike-throwing closer. He’s got a 93 to 95-mph four-seam fastball. The bullpen has some versatile performers, including righty Luke Gregerson (2-4, 3.24 ERA, 1 SV, 93 SO); he can put in multiple innings.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera (.255 BA, 2 HR, 31 RBI) had 25 stolen bases in 103 games last year. He’s a sparkplug type player. Power can be found in the bats of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (.277 BA, 40 HR, 99 RBI) and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (.255 BA, 18 HR, 88 RBI). Gonzalez is a purely talented hitter. Kouzmanoff can make pitchers pay for mistakes but he struggles with the curve ball. David Eckstein (.260 BA, 2 HR, 51 RBI) is a character player whose contributions in the field at second base are consistent and first-rate. All four infielders are pluses at their positions.
Catcher Nick Hundley (.238 BA, 8 HR, 30 RBI) is a solid backstop with good movement and soft hands. He’s starting his third major league season. In center, Will Venable (.256 BA, 12 HR, 38 RBI) is also beginning his third season. It’s actually his second full season. He’s an aggressive hitter who also plays a strong center.
New GM Jed Hoyer definitely needs to make some moves but there’s no cash in the bank. It all started to go sour with the 2008 divorce of then owner John Moore. The team was sold to a group headed by Jeff Moorad; there’s doubt if there’s much cash in the bank. Manager Bud Black starts his fourth year with the Padres. In a short time, he’s become one of the smarter managers around. He knows how to run a team.
This version of the San Diego Padres is as lacking as last year’s or perhaps even more so. It’s true that the team finished strong in the last two months of 2009, going on a tear. But they still ended up in fourth-place. It’s hard to imagine them being able to compete against the likes of the Rockies and Dodgers. They need more of everything, including depth.
For more info on the Padres check out the MLB official page for San Diego.