It’s that time of year. We are just one month away from the start of spring training the time of year all 30 teams feel that they can go all the way. With that we begin previewing all 30 teams in 30 days with a Pre Season Power Ranking series. We start off with #30 the the San Diego Padres.
Projected Record:59-103 5th in the NL West
Potential Lineup: LF Jankowski #16, CF Margot #7, 1B Meyers #4, 3B Solarte #26, RF Renfroe #10, 2B Schimpf #11, C Hedges #18, SS Sardinas #2
Potential Rotation: 1.Chacin , 2.Richard #27, 3.Cahill , 4.Friedrich #53, 5.Clemens #47
Potential Bullpen: CL Maurer #37, 8th Butcher #40, 7th Hand #52 , Quackenbush #59, Hessler #54, Cosart #55, Diaz
Potential Bench: C/OF Bethancourt #12, C Torrens , IF/OF Spanberg #15, OF Blash #32, OF/1B Dickerson #24
Injuries: P Capps #56, P Erlin #41, P Rea #29
Close your eye Padre fans because 2017 isn’t going to be fun. Two years removed from seeing the Padres as a 2015 World Series threat following making a series of offseason moves that brought in former all stars Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, James Shields, and Craig Kimbrel the Padres aren’t just coming off two straight losing seasons but don’t have any of those names on the roster for 2017 and did not even play good enough baseball to keep Kimbrel or Upton around to start 2016. San Diego has been among the most disappointing teams in the majors not far removed from Padres fans hoping General Manager AJ Perler would run for president. Now with all the big Preller’s moves not only deemed failures but erased the Padres come into 2017 with little talent. A season ago the Padres Offense finished 21st in runs scored. However a lot of that production came from Matt Kemp who was traded at the 2016 trade deadline to the Braves. Heading into 2017 the only big bat in the San Diego lineup belongs to 2016 All Star Wil Myers. Once a top prospect for the Royals and Rays and the 2013 AL Rookie Of The Year in just 88 games played Meyers finally put together a great season of hitting. Myers batted .259 with 28 Home Runs and 94 RBIs. The RBI’s are likely to go down for Meyers as there will be less ducks on the pond for him to dive in but the average should improve and the homers should stay around the same. Outside of Meyers the Padres lineup is super young and lacks experience. To put how young the Padres are in prospective none of their projected hitters starters or bench are 30 years old. The Padres won’t be hitting much in 2017. The starting pitching is likely going to be even more problematic for San Diego. With James Shields traded and Tyson Ross non tendered San Diego lacks any starting pitching. Jhoulys Chacin is set to lead the Padres rotation and is coming off a year where he pitched to a 4.81 ERA and made just 22 starts for the Angels. Clayton Richard will also be a key starter for the pitcher as he is the only other one on the staff with a lot of experience. Richard spent most of 2016 in the bullpen however meaning San Diego lacks any true starting pitchers. That’s not good…. As for the bullpen San Diego finished 22nd worst in bullpen ERA. Brandon Mauer is likely to be the San Diego closer despite coming off a year where he only converted 13/19 save opportunities and pitching to a 4.52 ERA. Expect Ryan Butcher who had 78 strikeouts out of the pen a season ago to have a chance to close as well. Well with all this said San Diego’s playoff chances are slim to one and their future is also very much in question. At least they have beautiful weather that should still draw fans to Petco Park and a chance to clinch the number one pick in the 2018 MLB first player draft.