San Diego Padres New Year’s Resolutions: 2015


I want to start by wishing our audience, the loyal readers who help make Friars On Base what it is today, a success, a very happy and healthy New Year in 2015! I also wish to say thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and lives to give us a read. We exist because of you, and we are fully aware of that. So on behalf of the entire staff at Friars On Base, thank you!

The San Diego Padres have had an up and down year to say the least. The bad came in droves. The poor play of a team that became one of the worst-hitting teams in recent baseball history. The franchise, the city, the fan base, and the game we all love lost an icon. There is no fixing that. Tony Gwynn was lost far too early, and while we will always mourn his loss, the best we can do now is to continue to honor the person he was, and the lasting impact he has had on all of us. 

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The good? Josh Byrnes was finally shown the door. A.J. Preller was hired, ownership opened the pocketbook, and the roster has been rebuilt in less than one month. After almost a decade of embarrassing baseball, the Padres finally said enough. Preller’s keen eye, and fearlessness to make bold moves, has emptied the farm system, one that hasn’t produced a legitimate star in years, took those promising young players, and turned them into Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton. The team still has their “Big Three” intact, and could be adding more if Cole Hamels comes home. Upgrades have been made offensively at third base, and behind the plate. The bullpen has been fortified, and the first of a logjam of outfielders was dealt for a young power arm. Life is good in San Diego. And it’s good to be a fan of San Diego Padres baseball right now. But what are some things the team can resolve to do in 2015?

  • Stay the course: While the Padres may have won the winter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that off-season success will translate to on-field victories. You can’t forget, the Dodgers and World Series champion Giants are still in the division. If the team comes out of the gate slow, fans and the team alike, cannot succumb to instant gratification, and push the panic button. Teams take time to gel, and after all, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Find a shortstop: Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista are not the answer at shortstop. If the season started today, I’d be running switch-hitting Yangervis Solarte out there to man shortstop. The best options remaining on the board though, are Stephen Drew (lefty) and Takashi Toritani (yes, a lefty). The team needs to get solid defensively, and to get more left-handed in the lineup. Both Drew and Toritani provide good defense, and an adequate bat, while not costing the team prospects or a ton of cash.
  • Find a lead-off hitter: Where that comes from or what position the lead-off hitter is going to be is anyone’s guess. You’ve got three middle-of-the-order lineup guys in your outfield. It makes a Wil Myers deal much more attractive if the Padres can get a speedster in return. Look at the roster. Who would you hit in the lead-off spot? Right now, Solarte is probably the team’s best bet if the season started today.
  • Don’t be a seller at the deadline: I mentioned yesterday on the Friars On Base podcast, that if the wheels come off and the team is stuck in third or fourth in the division, I could see A.J. Preller dealing Upton and fleecing another team’s farm system for the stretch run. Let’s hope it never gets to that point. The team still has a handful of top-tier prospects who could net the final piece of a pennant-run in San Diego. If it takes Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe or someone else, pull the trigger. The team didn’t assemble this roster to NOT make the postseason. As we’ve seen with both the Giants and the Kansas City Royals, getting in is the important thing.

Again, I hope you’ve enjoyed our Padres coverage throughout 2014, and we sincerely hope you’ll stay with us in 2015 for what should be the most exciting year in San Diego Padres’ history for quite some time. This could be a very special year, and we as a staff, feel honored that you let us share that with you. Happy New Year!