San Diego Padres players are starting to surface around Peoria in training camp, and the changes in the locker room are quite evident. The additions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks and James Shields are quite noteworthy.
Team that with the additions of Shawn Kelley, Brandon Maurer, Brandon Morrow, Jose Valverde, Clint Barmes and Tim Federowicz and these guys need name tags to identify themselves to each other. It’s a good thing Padres fans, the turnover this off-season has been incredible but necessary.
The San Diego Padres in recent years, had just become unwatchable, even for the most die-hard of fans. To spend your hard earned money to see a bunch of roll players starting, was a joke. The fans had enough, and the empty seats proved that. The ownership and front office needed to shake things up, and that is exactly what they did. Bravo!
When Will Venable strolled into the Padres clubhouse he noticed all the “Big Dogs” that were not there in seasons past. It was like a whole new feeling had come over the clubhouse. Matt Calkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune brings us the story.
"“There’s a lot of big dogs in here.” Venable replied. “You walk in, and there’s a totally different vibe.”“There’s a lot of big dogs in here.” Venable replied. “You walk in, and there’s a totally different vibe.”"
Will Venable is clearly happy with GM AJ Preller and his drastic overhaul of the anemic offense. The additions of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton alone will solidify the middle of the lineup.
Even though Venable will have limited opportunities, it must be exciting for him to be on such a promising roster. The pitching staff is also ecstatic about the upgrades and Andrew Cashner had this to say:
"“We’re just more optimistic that we can get some runs. It gives the starting pitchers a chance to pitch deeper into games. Our locker room couldn’t be better right now.”“We’re just more optimistic that we can get some runs. It gives the starting pitchers a chance to pitch deeper into games. Our locker room couldn’t be better right now.”"
Andrew Cashner is right, with more run support the starters can stay in the game longer and throw more innings. The past few seasons the Padres National League pitchers have had to be pinch hit for (late in games) in an attempt to provide more offense to the team. That shouldn’t happen as much this upcoming season, making James Shields expectations of 1,000 innings from these five starters a possibility.
For eight straight years the Padres have failed to make the playoffs. Fans through out the city of San Diego are well aware of that fact.
Padres fans are starved for a competitive team, let alone a team that has playoff aspirations. To have that quality of talent has made the city of San Diego catch Padre fever.
This team has a lot of well deserved hype surrounding it. The fans will be there to support the team, simply because of the effort the Padres front office has made. That’s all Padres fans really wanted. Just try and win the whole thing every year, and the fans will support the team till the end.
In seasons past the fans of the San Diego Padres only hoped their team would compete and play well. Now it is expected. Will all these “Big Dogs” mean wins? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, this summer is going to be full of excitement.
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