It seems almost cliche to focus only on the negatives for the Padres in 2015. We all know by now that it didn’t work out the way it was supposed to, but does that mean there was nothing redeeming about the year? I don’t think so. While you can’t sugarcoat a season where a team finished 14 games under .500, you can’t forget that a whole season happened at all either.
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A few players on the Padres provided hope that 2016 can be better than 2015, starting with a player who was demoted to AAA in the early goings of the season which left some to wonder if we had seen the last of him. Jedd Gyorko. He ended up third on the team with 16 HR, 13 after a demotion to AAA where he hit 4 HR in 16 games. Might the same revival be coming for Will Middlebrooks next year? The better question might be where they will find a place for Will Middlebrooks.
Another bright spot on the year was the play of Yangervis Solarte in his first full season with the Padres after coming over last year for Chase Headley from the Yankees. Solarte ended up 3rd on the Padres in batting average with players over 300 AB’s with a .270 average. He also had 14 home runs with 63 RBI. He provided versatility by playing second base, third base, and even first base which provided some defensive adventures but got better as the year went on. His only downside could be not having enough power for a third base power position when he might better be utilized as a super utility player over a long season.
The last bright spot highlight for this piece is Cory Spangenberg. As reported by Dennis Lin, outgoing Padres interim manager Pat Murphy had this to say about Spangenberg who ended up at .271 in over 100 games played:
"“He’s kind of established himself as an everyday player, I really like him at third, and I think he’s good at second. … I like his competitiveness, for one. He’s worked hard at trying to figure out his offensive game. He’s got the bunt in his game, he’s got the steal in his game, he’s got contact. And he’s starting to make less and less bad outs. I think he’s an exciting player for the future, I really do.”"
Throughout the off-season we’ll highlight several other aspects of the Padres season and prove that while incredibly disappointing, it just might not have been a complete loss.