San Diego Padres: Halftime adjustments

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 6: Right fielder Hunter Renfroe
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 6: Right fielder Hunter Renfroe /

The San Diego Padres have a lot to adjust to as they come back from the break. Above all, they ought to focus on the following areas.

It is unofficially halftime of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. The All-Star break is not exactly the halfway point, as the Padres have played 88 of their 162 scheduled games. However, it is still a good time to reflect on the first portion of the season, and what is to come when play resumes.

In summary, the first 88 games were rocky for San Diego. They were wildly inconsistent, but showed promise, especially some of their individual players. Still, with a record of 38-50, adjustments have to be made.

There is room to grow even for this rebuilding franchise. Here is what the Padres should focus on in the second half of the season to ensure that it goes more smoothly than the first.

Starting pitching depth

This adjustment conveniently has a double meaning. Yes, the Padres need to work on rotational depth, proven when Trevor Cahill and Jered Weaver went down with injuries. But the pitching staff also needs more out of their starters in terms of innings, as their bullpen shouldn’t be forced to cover the majority of the game.

San Diego starters average five and a third innings per start, which falls short of the ideal six. Their 4.75 ERA isn’t horrendous even if it could be improved upon, but depth is key. Not only does depth signal a strong performance, it also saves the bullpen from being overworked, and allows the club to use their strongest relievers in the late innings in the most ideal manner.

As far as the rotation’s depth goes, it has been promising to see strong performances of Dinelson Lamet and Luis Perdomo when they were needed to step up. But if the Padres don’t find some more depth in their rotation, and if the 6th, 7th, and 8th starters don’t pitch well, fans could be seeing a whole lot more Dillon Overtons before the end of the season.

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Stringing together runs

This is where San Diego has really struggled this season, and unfortunately, there’s no easy fix. The Padres normally haven’t had trouble scoring, but they have found little to no success rallying. For some reason, their power always comes with the bases empty, and leaving runners in scoring position may as well be a ritual.

Naturally, a young lineup hasn’t yet learned to play together to their fullest potential. This is an encouraging sign, since they can only improve with time. For now though, the growing pains and frustration of poor clutch hitting will hurt the Padres until they can get it turned around. And there’s no better time to begin doing just that on the other side of the All-Star break.

Star power

It’s not like the Padres are loaded with players who would be considered “stars”. But as vague as this term is, most would agree that Wil Myers is one of baseball’s elite talents. The 2016 All-Star has driven in 42 runs, but he’s also only hit .255.

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Besides Myers, some of the other regulars are in a bit of a slump as well. After a huge contract extension, Yangervis Solarte is struggling following his position change. Hunter Renfroe and Ryan Schimpf have also under performed compared to their high expectations coming in.

It is no secret that young talent is surprising a lot of Padres fans. Yet oftentimes it seems that the disappointing play of the more well established players goes unnoticed. Turning it around in the second half to any degree largely hinges on the play of these Friar staples.

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Now, it’s time to get back to baseball, and time to work towards the .500 mark in the second half. Go Padres!