The San Diego Padres came into the 2014 season with high expectations. Many baseball writers had predicted that the team was going to compete for the NL West title and the Wild Card. However, the Padres are slowly seeing their season coming to an end in mid-May. Currently, the Padres are 15-21 and sitting in fourth place, 7 1/2 games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants.
While most of the blame is being rightfully placed on the teams’ lack of offense, the defense has also been terrible this year. The Padres’ are 23rd in Major League Baseball in fielding percentage, already committing 28 total errors.
To overcome the lack of offensive firepower, the Padres’ depend on doing the little things to win games. In 2013, the team was 10th in total team defense.
Padres’ shortstop Everth Cabrera is struggling to recapture his 2013 All-Star season both offensively and defensively. Already this season, Cabrera’s matched his total errors from a year ago making six errors in 154 chances. In Wednesday’s 8-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals, Cabrera booted two costly balls that contributed to crooked-number innings.
Padres’ manager Bud Black stated about Cabrera’s errors, “Defensively, we’ve seen flashes of great plays this year and we’ve seen him make the routine play. At other times, we’ve seen him not make that play that should be made. Yesterday, I wouldn’t classify them as routine but they were makeable for a shortstop.”
At this point of the season, the Padres’ can’t afford to make the little mistakes that put added pressure on the pitching staff because any little mistake is going to lead to an insurmountable comeback for the offense who continues to not produce runs. While Padres’ pitchers are giving the club the chance to win each night, the defense, especially Cabrera need to find their 2013 form fast before they find themselves completely out of the pennant chase.