Padres Analysis: Padres off to Playoff Start

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The San Diego Padres have not finished a season above .500 since the 2010 season.  These disappointing seasons can easily be attributed to one main factor – a slow start in the month of April.

In the stretch of seasons from 2011-2014, the Padres crawled out of the gate.  The most games they won in the month of April was 12 in 2014.  Compare that to the nice 15-8 record in 2010 (when the Padres won 90 games total), and it is safe to say that a team’s April record has a lot to do with their success that season.

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In each of the losing seasons, the Padres bounced back and improved later in the year, but it was never enough to climb out of the huge hole they dug in the beginning of the season.  These slow starts were often attributed to an uncanny amount of injuries players endured in Spring Training and the beginning of the season exposing the organizations lack of depth.

After 13 games, analysts like Derek Torgerson of NBC San Diego are already predicting playoffs for the 2015 Padres.  According to Torgerson’s logic, a 90 win season and likely playoff berth:

"“can be achieved by alternating 10 game sprints with a record of 6-4, the 5-5.”"

With an early record of 8-5, the Padres seem to be right on track to compete for a playoff spot.  One reason I believe the Padres can continue this trend is because they have improved on what plagued them before: they’ve added considerable depth.

Look at the pitching staff. Even with the minor injury to Ian Kennedy the Padres were able to fill the hole with the very solid pitching of Odrisamer Despaigne.  In the bullpen, key pitchers who were previously successful for the Padres like Nick Vincent and Kevin Quackenbush were actually demoted to AAA where they await another chance to make an impact in the pen if and when their number is called.

Offensively, AJ Preller added depth by trading away prospects from the farm.  For once it seems like there are not enough spots on this club and even the bench spots are filled with players who can easily make an impact when called upon.

Injuries have been a major issue for the San Diego Padres the last few years.  Especially with starting pitching.  Luckily, the young 2015 season has been a relatively healthy one.  But if there were to be more injuries in the starting rotation, pitchers like Josh Johnson, Casey Kelly, and  Robbie Erlin should be ready to fill in.

2010 was a great to season to watch the Padres compete.  They regularly came out on top of close ballgames, won most of the series they played, and rarely got swept by a team.

I see a lot of that in this 2015 club.  They have battled back after their losses and earned series wins in three of the first four series.  It really does look like they have the goods to make the playoffs this year.

What do you think?  Have you seen enough to call the Padres a playoff team in 2015?  Or is the season too young?

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