The Padres enter the All-Star break in 3rd place at 41-54, but it’s not a right-on-the-cusp-of-the-wild-card-race kind of 3rd place. San Diego is in 3rd place in a weak division. This team is one of the worst in recent memory, there is no way to sugarcoat it. It’s a miracle they are in 3rd place and only 13 games below .500. The Padres have a better record than 5 teams in the MLB. Here is my report that I give to each aspect of the Padres team at the break…
There is no way around this. The Padres are historically bad offensively this year. They head into the break hitting .214 as a team, just a few points higher than the record low. The Padres are also last in MLB in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total bases, runs scored and runs per game. Seth Smith leads the team with 10 HRs, that is the lowest total for a team-leader in the league. The Padres are hitting .198 with runners in scoring position, also last in the MLB.
The Padres easily have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and fans have them to thank for being in 3rd place, not last. They have the 3rd best team ERA in the bigs at 3.18. They have the best bullpen ERA in the National League at 2.56. Tyson Ross, Huston Street and Ian Kennedy are putting up All-Star-caliber numbers. Ross, and Kennedy combine for 14 wins, a 3.15 ERA and 259 strikeouts. That’s quite the combo. Street has 24 saves and is on pace to achieve a career high in that category.
Aside from Everth Cabrera, who is not having a good year with the glove, the Padres are decent defensively. Cabrera is 5th in the MLB with 13 errors. In most defensive stats, the Padres are in the middle of the pack. The Padres are towards the top in defensive efficiency. The Padres, however, have also allowed the third-most stolen bases.
I am not one to pin all of this poor play on one man named Bud Black. Yes, he has had his share of mishaps this season. He has had 76 different lineups in 95 games. He has made 15 challenges this year and 8 have been overturned. He has done a decent job with the hand he has been dealt. He is not at 100% fault for the abysmal offense.
General Manager: D+
Unlike some people, I did like the extension Seth Smith received from the Padres. Why not extend the best hitter on the team? Trading him would make San Diego instantly worse. He is not yet 32-years-old, so there is still time for him to produce. That is the only reason I didn’t give the GMs an F. Yes, Josh Byrnes was fired and honestly, I do believe he deserved it. The general manager’s job is to put a product on the field that can hit, field, pitch and win. The Padres were not doing that when Byrnes was in office. He extended Jedd Gyorko to a long contract and he is hitting below the Mendoza line and is on the DL.
The Padres have a lot of work to do in the second half. The trade deadline is in 2 weeks. It can either be a time of great change or much ado about nothing. Either way, the Padres need to play better than they have in the first half or everyone will be playing and coaching for their jobs. Padres fans deserve better than this.