Padres Editorial: Bigger Disappointment in the National League?


Certainly 2015 will be seen as a pivotal year in Padres history. While certainly the hopes for this season were incredible, with anything but the playoffs seen as a disappointment and the World Series seen as plausible – the real test will to see what effect the trades made prior to this season will affect future Padres seasons. Yet what if the Padres aren’t even the biggest disappointment in the National League?

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I say that as we watch former prospects Joe Ross and Matt Wisler perform well in the major leagues, not to mention Cameron Maybin looking like the player we never saw him become and Yasmani Grandal being one of the top offensive catchers in all of baseball. All that to say the Padres do have a pretty good chance to at least finish at .500 this season which would be a pretty good start to things and have seen some positive developments on the playing field and in the bullpen. Just not enough.

Many were surprised that A.J. Preller did not make any big moves at the trading deadline (a reliever does not count, sorry Mark Repscysnki) and many more saw that as a sign that trading away some of the big names like Justin Upton, Andrew Cashner or Craig Kimbrel would be a sign admitting that he was wrong to make some of those trades in the beginning of the season and that he was admitting failure. Was it though?

Remember 2013, when the Royals had that big trade for James Shields and Wade Davis in exchange for a package including Wil Myers. They didn’t make the playoffs that season. They were disappointed and some were ready to dispose of GM Dayton Moore then. Funny thing happened though the following year. Those guys Shields and Davis were still with the team, and a rookie named Yordani Ventura came along who could throw 100 MPH, they got good years from some guys who had been around for awhile and rode it all the way to the World Series. My point is – let’s not completely judge everything done by Mr. Preller on 2015 alone. To say that having Matt Kemp, James Shields and Wil Myers around for 2016 will hurt would be wrong. I’ll give you Will Middlebrooks though.

So while the outcome of this season is certainly disappointing for the Padres, we can’t say either that we didn’t completely expect it. After all, just a few years ago we saw the same thing happen to the Blue Jays and the Marlins before that. Jose Reyes saw both of those failures first hand and now this year was traded again as those Blue Jays – the ones who tried to build a championship by adding Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buerhle and crashed and burned – still have those guys and now are in the running for a wild card spot if not the AL East altogether. This story on the Padres isn’t over yet, we may just have to flip over the disc and see what 2016 brings.


In fact – I would say that the Padres aren’t even the biggest flops of 2015. The Padres were a bad team last year trying to get good. What about a team that was really good last year – added a Cy Young – and is watching one of the top young hitters in baseball having a MVP quality season? THAT team should be running away with the division crown if not the league’s best record. But the Washington Nationals are not doing that.

The Nationals made it to the playoffs last year before getting vanquished by the eventual World Champion Giants and their memory of their 2012 elimination by the Cardinals after having to shutdown Stephen Strasburg which was one of the best playoff series in recent memory as they just couldn’t finish off the series and the win.

According to Sports Illustrated pre-season predictions they were UNANIMOUS in winning the NL East. So were the Cardinals and Dodgers respectively, but they are. Note: The Padres were picked for the second wild card in 4 of the 5 writers polled.

This year they added Max Scherzer who has not disappointed and even thrown a no-hitter after missing a perfect game by 1. Bryce Harper is hitting .334 with 29 home runs and yet somehow the Nationals find themselves 2.5 GB from first place. What has gone wrong for this team or is their team stuck in a team slump of hitting when it counts?

Manager Matt Williams was the 2014 Manager of the Year so he knows what he is doing. Yet they are just 5 games over .500 and now fallen behind the New York Mets. It is also worth noting the Mets until the recent trade deadline had absolutely no offensive firepower. Adding Yoenis Cespedes was a rare display of the Mets showing that they are ready to win this division, and of course their young rotation is incredible.

Yet the Nationals waltzed into 2015 with the division to lose – and they are working towards that goal. Sure, there is still much more baseball left than people give it credit for, but the signs are not looking good. If they squeak it out and make the playoffs they would be instantly dangerous in the playoffs with Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman if Strasburg isn’t up to par in the rotation and Bryce Harper has shown he can play quite well in the playoffs, but you have to get there.

Two teams and two different sets of expectations, but both are failing right now and time is running out to change course.

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