Sunday, December 2, 2012

San Diego Padres Season 21 Outlook

Season 20
Won/Loss (place in division) & Playoffs: 93-69 (1st), lost to Cardinals in Round 1
Offense:  779 (3rd)
Pitching:  3.60 (6th)

Major Changes
FA Departures:
2B Bob Diaz, SP Ozzie Culver, LR Midre Valdez, SP Jerry York, RP Cristobal Vizcaino, SP Rico Samuel, OF Pablo Castillo
FA Signees:  SS Luis Nunez, RP Carson Moreno, RP Dante Little, 3B Santiago Vazquez, SP Ross Lamb
  SP Bernard Wright (Sea 15 #2 overall)

Season 21 OutlookDo the Padres have the best offense in the NL when you adjust for park effects?  They were only 38 runs back of Pittsburgh last year.  It's pretty easy to get an idea...just look up how many runs both teams scored in their away games.

In their 87 away games last season, the Pirates tallied 438 runs.  Padres - 437.

Gives a little better picture of how good their offense really is.  What strikes me about it is the lack of gaping holes at C, SS, CF.  C Quevedo hits lefties and righties well, and add a bit of power (20HR).  SS Coronado hit .300 and knocked in 65 runs.  CF Guillen had 94 walks (OBP .376) and chipped in 16 bombs and 74 RBI.  That's some serious production from your 3 worst hitters.

LF Nate Hood, of course, is the big star of the lineup.  He missed a chunk of last year with a knee injury and still had 33 HRs, 93 RBI.  Look for a bigger year.  The other not-quite-yet star is toolsy 2B Melvin Charleston.  With his great contact and speed, he'll at some point have a .350 BA season.

Ross Lamb improves an already-good rotation.  Doyle Davis (17) and Joel Iorg (15) were the top winners last year, and along with Lamb, should be again.  ROY Brian Murata heads up a deep, tough bullpen.  Murata threw 125 innings last year and I don't think he broke a sweat - he could go 180 if necessary.  Newcomer Dante Little could go north of 150 IP as well - he closed for St. Louis last year and might push Tori Broome for that job here.  Louis Black, Jamie Thompson and Carson Moreno would be front-line relievers anywhere else - here they'll struggle to get innings.

There aren't any weaknesses here.  There's not a single bad pitcher on the 12-man staff.  There are no holes in the lineup.  Barring a catastrophic injury or 2, the Padres win the West and win big.

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