San Diego Padres: The Fall Of The Friars

San Diego Padres: The Fall Of The Friars
Petco Park. San Diego Padres/Matt Thomas.

The San Diego Padres ended their season at 79-83. The loss against the San Fransisco Giants on Friday (0-3) set a .500 season average just out of reach. Two weekends ago, the Atlanta Braves robbed playoff contention altogether. The Padres were 17 games above .500 in July and were on track to having a record breaking season. Countless injuries, a tough schedule, loss in spirits, and some big errors have completely derailed the winning-machine franchise that captivated the nation earlier this year.

Injured Pitchers

San Diego Padres: The Fall Of The Friars
Blake Snell will be missing a little time with an illness. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports.

Throwing 80+ MPH pitches through multiple innings injures pitchers in the Major League pretty often and understandably so. The Padres, however, have been plagued with these injuries significantly this season. Out of the 9 players currently on the injured list, 8 of them are pitchers, with the last being catcher Austin Nola and his thumb sprain. Among these pitchers are Blake Snell and Yu Darvish, who should both be ready to throw come 2022 along with the rest of the injured pitchers. RHP Mike Clevinger has been out for about 10 months due to Tommy John surgery which had hurt the Padres from the beginning. If everyone heals properly and maintains their physical therapy and training, the Padres will have a roster of pitchers that are ready for war next season.

Personnel Changes

San Diego Padres: The Fall Of The Friars
Despite a report, the Padres denied they have decided to fire Jayce Tingler. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Given the poor performance and results from the last half of the season, Padres manager Jayce Tingler has been under a lot of scrutiny. His lineup choices for each game have been upsetting many fans. Given that most of his pitching options are unable to perform, some decisions were out of his hands. Jon Heyman, an insider for the MLB Network, claimed that Tingler was out. Padres general manager A.J. Preller addressed this claim as premature and inaccurate. Things aren’t all sunshine and happiness for Tingler yet though as Preller also stated that, “…no decision has been made on Jayce‚Äôs employment status at this time.”

Other changes to look out for involve first baseman Eric Hosmer and outfielder Wil Myers. Preller must decide if he wants to move their contracts elsewhere or keep them playing. Hosmer has been under significant pressure as well and a large group of people believe that he’s underperforming for what his contract pays him.

2021 Highlight Players

San Diego Padres: The Fall Of The Friars
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., left, celebrates with second baseman Jake Cronenworth after a win over Colorado on Aug 31 in Denver. Randy Reinhardt.

For all of the disappointment during the 2021 season, there were still many positive highlights. San Diego county native Joe Musgrove threw the franchise’s first no-hitter ever in 53 years of playing. Fernando Tatis Jr. has solidified himself as a legendary hitter ending his season with 42 home runs. He is currently the leader in all of the National League. Manny Machado is another star player and team leader who had a great year. He has one of the highest RBIs at 106 in the NL and ranks 9th in the overall MLB. Jake Cronenworth has performed wonderfully this year as well. Petco Park has officially named a section of the park “The Crone Zone” in honor of Cronenworth’s eye-opening performance.

The Faithful Friars In San Diego

The level of disappointment that the Padres brought during the last half of this season is something that San Diego is familiar with. Aside from baseball, the Chargers during their time in San Diego consistently started out hot in their football seasons only to drop the ball at the end. The Padres have ended 9 out of 10 of their last seasons under .500. The only season that they’ve ended above .500 was 2020 during the shortened 60-game season. Padres fans are aware that these losses happen even when their roster should be talented enough to get them to the playoffs, at least. 2022 could be the year that they pull together a new team with new players and give their town a long-awaited victory.

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