With baseball beginning in less than 24 hours, and the San Diego Padres opening the season on Monday, the staff got together to discuss our predictions for the club in 2017.
The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers will open the season Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, the first of 162 games each team will play in 2017.
The two teams have much different expectations this season, as the Dodges are coming off of a division title and San Diego is as inexperienced as any team in baseball. Despite this, there is hope for the future. The only question is whether or not the potential will show up in the form of a better season.
So how does the Friars on Base staff foresee the season going for our beloved Padres? Here are each of our bold predictions entering 2017.
This is a bad starting rotation. Luis Perdomo is our best pitcher and he is #5 in the rotation. I assume that is to allow him extra rest when possible.
Clayton Richard could be ok, depending on his health, but all the others are either inconsistent or at the end of their careers.
I’m thinking they signed Jhoulys Chacin, Jarred Cosart, and Jered Weaver to provide veteran leadership because I can’t see any of them providing consistent starts.
The bullpen is talented and deep but will be worn out by the inability of the starting rotation to go deep. Christian Friedrich might help a bit when he is healthy but that’s only a hope.
Trevor Cahill shows promise but is also inconsistent. I will watch and hope he develops into a legitimate starter.
The lineup is young and inexperienced, though talented. I expect them to improve as the season progresses, unless there are significant injury issues.
Overall, I see around 95 losses give or take 5. I hope for better but I think that is realistic unless they upgrade the rotation at some point.
This team could get better quickly with a real group of starters and a quality shortstop for the infield.
Despite my pessimistic projection, I look forward to watching this group develop.
I predict the Padres will win 69 games, one more than last year. The team will avoid the 100-loss season predicted by many national writers.
San Diego will show improved defense in the outfield and infield by subtraction (Matt Kemp, Alexei Ramirez) as well as addition. If Travis Jankowski and Manuel Margot team up they will cover a lot of ground in center and left. Austin Hedges is a major upgrade at catcher. Last year the Padres rated -32 defensive runs saved. By improving that miserable statistic, the team will obviously have a better chance of winning.
Although the starting pitching staff has been ridiculed across the land, it may prove to be at least as capable as last year’s (with four starters having ERAs above 4.00.) Walker Lockett and Dinelson Lamet could provide reinforcement during the season. The bullpen will again be a strength but will be pressured by the starters not going deep in games.
Intangibles like clubhouse chemistry will be much improved this year, which certainly can’t hurt performance.
The Padres have all odds stacked against them this season, ranked last in pretty much every power ranking list and having the most inexperienced roster in baseball. Despite this, I see the club improving in 2017, winning 70 games.
This is mostly due to upgrades at several positions such as catcher, right field, and second base. The rotation should also be more consistent with four veterans, and the bullpen should be about the same as it was in 2016, which was mediocre statistically.
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Most of all, my optimistic prediction is due to an increase of consistency for the Padres. They should be more stable this season, even with a young roster, because the young players they have will begin the season in the majors and not bounce up and down like they did in 2016. The lineup should be much more consistent, and since the Padres didn’t lose any significant piece besides Jon Jay, this can only serve them well.
Still, San Diego won’t realistically contend. They will rattle off several long winning streaks which will encourage fans, but will also go through difficult times which will extend longer due to their youth. In the end it will be a step in the right direction though, and the Padres will be a lot more fun to watch this season.
Have a bold prediction for the Padres this season? Let us know in the comment section below! And stay tuned to Friars on Base, as we will cover opening week extensively. Go Padres!