Apr 23, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso (23) hits a single during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Padres Offensive Spotlight
As of this writing, the Padres have scored the most runs in the National League. Think about that for a second. For a team that finished dead last in runs scored with 535 in 2014 the contrast is stark. They are doing it with some longballs certainly but primarily from just plain hitting. They lead the majors in hits with 187 with Matt Kemp leading the way with 28 of them. Of the top 6 players by hits, 5 are new imports from the off-season and Yonder Alonso is leading the team in batting average. For a guy who was being run out of town after a dreadful 2014 and being a key left-handed hitter for the Padres, the news couldn’t be better.
The Jedd Gyorko question continues to trouble the Padres faithful, perhaps the only benefit is that his struggles are overshadowing the struggles at shortstop though Clint Barmes has hit well in limited duty with 8 hits in 24 at-bats. Season long solution though he is not. We have seen some stellar defensive plays from Solarte, particularly Saturday night robbing an RBI from the Dodgers Howie Kendrick, but he has also made 3 errors as mentioned earlier. Can he play shortstop? Gyorko though has just 7 hits in 47 at-bats and has drawn only 4 walks. He has taken a few days off to work on his swing but many of the troubles from last year do not seem to be behind him.
If Bud Black epitomizes one trait it is patience but if GM A.J. Preller epitomizes one trait it is frenetic energy. It will be interesting to see if a conflict over Gyorko comes to the forefront as Black stresses giving him regular playing time to get things right and Preller is shopping for any and every replacement he can find. We know that Bud Black can work with different ownership and GM’s as he has had several over his tenure, but I get the feeling Preller likes things a certain way.
Ultimately these are all good things. Having a middle of the order combination like Kemp and Upton producing and Wil Myers has also been fantastic in the lead-off spot which had been another pre-season concern. If getting two hitters like Gyorko and Amarista to produce is the worst problem the Padres have things are looking good for the team from San Diego.
Next: Week Ahead