Coming into this season, the San Diego Padres were talked about as a possible sleeper team in the National League. They had the pitching, and we all thought with another year of experience guys like Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Jedd Gyorko combined with Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin could give the Padres enough offense.
Well, fast forward to now, Headley was dealt to the Yankees and Grandal, Gyorko, Alonso, Quentin along with Cameron Maybin, Everth Cabrera all missed time due to various injuries. Meanwhile, the team had a fighting chance at finishing with a .500 record.
You may not agree with how Bud Black manages the team, but he’s managed to keep the team afloat all year long.
The Pads have the fewest runs, hits, doubles, total bases, and OPS in baseball and rank 29th in homers and yet they are in third place comfortably.
Why? The pitching, and as a former pitcher and pitching coach, he has to get at least a little bit of credit. The Padres are fourth in team ERA, tied for ninth in quality starts, sixth in batting average against, and issued the 12th fewest walks. That’s enough to get in the post-season and be a factor.
When A.J. Preller took over, I was hoping that Black would stay on. I felt the offensive struggles of the team weren’t his fault. Plus, if he was fired, he’d last about two seconds as a free agent and a team would scoop him up.
Look, I’m sure Black won’t win the award, and he may not even finish in the top three, but you can make a case he did more with less than anyone else did in the National League this year with all the injuries.