Panic at the Padres?

DENIS POROY / GETTY IMAGES

Should the San Diego Padres fans have reason to panic? NO, but I will be critical on what is working and what needs improvement. So far, the Padres have not lived up to their offensive potential at all. The only two players batting anywhere near .300 are Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado. Padres rank 26th in homeruns with only 42 to their name, as well as ranking only 23rd in total offense according to ESPN. However, Padres pitching is ranked 6th (ESPN) with hot stats from Joe Musgrove and the rookie Mackenzie Gore. Yu darvish has only had two bad outings otherwise has been looking sharp. Sean Manea, the new face in the rotation, has been holding his own posting a 4.02 ERA while receiving the short end of the stick in run support.

Padres Stellar Defense

Padres defense has been solid, Ha-Seong Kim is vacuuming up baseballs at shortstop. Manny Machado is still a gold glove caliber player at third base. Jurickson Profar has had 7 defensive runs saved to his name so far. Padres as a team are putting up a .991 fielding percentage which is second in MLB, with only 17 errors committed all season. Enough of the numbers, let us turn our attention to the story of the season so far. San Diego has fought hard in every game this season. Padres seem to always find themselves in striking distance in the games they are behind. However, the are playing a ton of close games and Taylor Rodgers has been coming on to save games routinely. The bullpen has a bit shaky but it is still early enough Bob Melvin is still figuring out who too trust.

The Padres are sitting at 33-22 winning record which is good enough for second place in the NL West. Could be a long season of looking up at the Los Angles Dodgers but Padres do have a healthy lead in the wild card race. Without Fernando Tatis Jr. to play a game yet this season Padre fans should not complain. At the same time I don’t want a winning bias to cloud my judgement. So with that being said, Padres might want to look into trading for a big bat to help the offense. The bullpen could use a big arm because as of lately some reliable arms have been giving up runs.

Trade Options

Juan Soto has been in some trade rumors but the Nationals are dead set on building around the young superstar. Andrew Benintendi with the Kansas City Royals could be a good option. However, last year padres traded for Adam Frazier near the deadline and he couldn’t replicate his Pittsburgh numbers at all. Some talks about picking up Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles but San Diego would probably have to trade multiple top prospects for that. As of right now its a little to early to look for bullpen arms as the Padres are looking for in house reinforcements in the form of Drew Pomeranz, Michel Báez and others. Taking a look around the league at outfield potential trade pieces are: Robbie Grossman, Austin Martin, Jo Adell, Chas McCormick Nick Solak, Drew Waters, Corey Dickerson, and David Peralta.

Here is my semi bold prediction for the Padres season; Bob Melvin gets the Padres a wild card spot. Padres draw the Brewers in the first playoff series and beat the Brewers in a wild game 5 matchup. Then Padres lose to the Dodgers in the next series. If that were to happen I would count this season as good enough to build off but an under performance.

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