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2008 Padre Team Outlook

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by rexy2006, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    2008 SD Padres: A Call to Arms
    from MLB Fleece Factor, by Mr. Fleece


    The N.L. West figures to provide one heck of a divisional race in 2008. As they have done the past few seasons, the San Diego Padres will try to rely on pitching to get them the division crown. The starting pitching figures to shake out like this:
    [​IMG]1) Jake Peavy: The ace of the staff, and one of the best in the game today. He’s coming off a Cy Young season where he went 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA. He also racked up 240 strikeouts in 223 1/3 innings. He is a young horse (he’ll turn just 27 in May) that this team can lean on every 5th day to provide a stellar performance.

    2) Chris Young: Young battled some injury problems late in the 2007 season due to some back problems, but he is a real solid # 2 starter, and he should rebound nicely. Last year he went 9-8, but had a solid 3.12 ERA. In 173 innings (30 starts), Young struck out 167 batters. Young & Peavy form one of the most solid 1-2 combos in the National League.

    3) Greg Maddux: Mr. Reliable will slot nicely into the # 3 position for the Padres. He made 34 starts in 2007, where the grizzled veteran had a respectable 4.14 ERA en route to a 14-11 record. At 41 years old, Maddux managed to give the Padres 198 innings, too. He won’t dominate like he used to, of course, but you can count on him to take the ball every 5th day and give you a chance to win.

    4) Randy Wolf: Wolf signed a one year contract earlier this off-season with the Padres, and he figures to be their # 4 guy. Wolf has suffered through some injuries the past few seasons, and he made just 18 starts in 2007 for the L.A. Dodgers. As a matter of fact, Wolf has not made over 30 starts since 2003 when a member of the Phillies’ staff. He’s a risk, but one worth taking. He had a 4.73 ERA in 2007 for L.A., but if he can manage to stay healthy for San Diego, I bet that ERA will come down, especially in that ballpark. He provides a nice left-handed option here in the # 4 slot.

    5) Justin Germano: Germano will most likely be the team’s 5th starter when they break camp. He made 23 starts for the Pads in 2007, and he’ll be just 26 during the 2008 season. He had a 4.46 ERA for the Padres in 2007, but pitched some real nice games for them down the stretch.

    6) Mark Prior: Obviously I had to put Prior in here as a “wild card” to crack the rotation later in the season, even though his injury might prevent him from pitching at all in the 2008 campaign. The Padres signed Prior to an incentive laden 1 year contract. The money was not a major issue (could be worth up to $5.5 million including incentives), so this was a risk worth taking.

    To back up these starters, the Padres have some solid arms in that bullpen as well. Here are some of the key arms:
    SU) Heath Bell: Bell had a 2.02 ERA with 102 strikeouts for the Padres in 2007. He’s a work horse, and solid set-up man for the team. The Mets traded Bell prior to the 2007 season, and the Padres have been the benefactor of this huge fleece.
    MR) Cla Meredith: Side-armer gives a different look to right handers of opposing line-ups. Had struggles at times in 2007, but managed to post a 3.56 ERA.
    MR) Kevin Cameron: Another bullpen arm who posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 2007 (2.79). Managed 50 strikeouts in 58 innings.
    LHRP) Justin Hampson & Wilfredo Ledezma: Lefties in this league tend to be “hit or miss” on a year-in and year-out basis. Hampson had some success versus both right handers and left handers. Ledezma serves as some insurance.
    CP) Trevor Hoffman: Historically, Hoff has struggled in the big game. He couldn’t close out the Rockies in the amazing one-game playoff, but as a 40 year old he still puts up nice numbers as a closer (2.98 ERA, 42 saves).

    - Clay Hensley could be a factor in the rotation, or out of the pen for the Padres in 2008. Could be a nice “swing man”.

    Now…the lineup is a bit of a different story. The Padres have struggled for offense the last few seasons, and that will be their weak-point again as they enter 2008. To make matters worse, they lost Milton Bradley to Texas and Mike Cameron to the Brewers this off-season. They have some decent bats, but they lack a major slugger that will strike fear into their opponents. Some players could step into this role, as they do indeed have some young up-and-coming players. Let’s take a look:
    [​IMG]1B) Adrian Gonzalez: Gonzalez could be “that guy.” He had a real good season in 2007, where he belted 30 HR and knocked in 100 RBI. He also hit a stellar .282 while putting up these numbers. His swing is smooth, but it has some holes. He struck out 140 times, and hit just .263 versus left-handed pitching with only 9 HR. He’ll be just 26 in May, so he should get better, which would be a huge plus for the Pads.

    2B) Tadahito Iguchi: Iguchi signed to fill the second base void. He hit .267 splitting time for the White Sox and Phillies in 2007. Prior to the 2007 campaign, he was a consistent .280 hitter for Chicago. He could hit # 2 for San Diego.

    3B) Kevin Kouzmanoff: Kouzmanoff had a nice season for San Diego, hitting .275 with 18 HR and 75 RBI. He has a lot of talent, and is young, so these numbers should only get better. He needs to improve his OBP (.329) to make the step to the next level.

    SS) Khalil Greene: Greene is one of those guys whose numbers tend to sneak up on you. He socked 27 Hr with 97 RBI in 2007, while hitting .254. He is streaky, however (hit .163 in May and .205 in July). Some consistency would be a benefit to his team.

    C) Josh Bard & Michael Barrett: A nice platoon situation, but neither player is exactly crafty with the stick. But hey, two solid catchers can never be a bad thing.
    [​IMG]The outfield has some age, to say the least, primarily in center-field and right-field. They picked up Jim Edmonds from St. Louis and they have Brian Giles in right field. Both players have had injury issues (Giles has had micro-fracture knee surgery most recently), and their productivity is on the decline. Left field could go to Scott Hairston, although there have been rumors that youngsters Chase Headley and Matt Antonelli could compete for the left field job. Headley has played 3B in the minors, but could he be converted? Most recently, the Padres have been linked to Matt Murton of the Cubs to fill this vacancy.
    [​IMG]There are still some questions in regards to left field, as noted above, but most of the roster is set for 2008. GM Kevin Towers will send his Padres into battle with one of the strongest pitching staffs in the N.L., but will it be enough? I suspect they’ll manage to stay in the N.L. West battle until the end, making for another interesting season for the San Diego faithful.

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  2. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Great find...the woe is me crowd should be here directly.
  3. tboltzcali

    tboltzcali Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    they will be in it til the end but they will end up choking like the last two years. The pads are good enough to win divisions, not WS.

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