September 27, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Casey Kelly (49) throws during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Four Keys For The Padres To Win The Division

While the rest of the National League west reloaded this off-season, the Padres have failed to acquire a big name player. The Padres are definitely not the odds on favorites to win the division, but if they want to remain in the thick of things these four things must happen:

1. Stay Healthy – In 2012, we all witnessed how an unhealthy roster can equate to a bad season as the Padres’ used 15 different starting pitchers all of last year. The team finished strong when guys got healthy again, but the injury bug knocked the Padres out of the divisional race by the end of June. Staying healthy is the key for the Padres to have a shot at winning the N.L. West.

2.Young Kids Need To Step Up -  If the Padres are going to make a run at the division, then they need the young kids on the roster to step up . The Padres had an abundance of  players make their MLB debut last year, and these kids need to show tremendous growth from last season.  Also, if the Padres bring up any of its top prospects then those prospects need to make an immediate impact.

3.Trade Deadline – If the Padres still have any realistic shot at taking the division crown come July, then they need to make a big acquisition in order to improve their chances. If the Padres need a bat or an arm remains to be seen, but I’d like them to make a move that would actually “blow our socks off!” Making a big splash at the deadline will only improve our chances of winning the division.

4. The Resurgence Of Nick Hundley – Nick Hundley’s 2013 season will be key if the Padres expect to win the division. He cannot have the same season in 2012 where he put together a .157/.219/.245 slash line.Hundley needs to finally show why the Padres last year invested a $9 million, three-year contract on him.

If the Padres are to make a solid run at the division this year, I feel these are the things that need to happen. Let me know in the comment box below if you agree our disagree with me.

Tags: Nick Hundley San Diego Padres

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