Over the past few years, the Padres have had plenty of of talented pitchers, but struggled offensively. This season has been quite a different story. Offense has been much better than expected, but pitching has been subpar. Also, according to baseball reference.com, San Diego has the youngest offense in the MLB this season.
We explore some key takeaways from the 2017 season.
José Pirela (age 27) has been the Padres offensive MVP this season. According to MLB.com, Pirela has a .292 batting average while slugging .498. Right behind him in batting average is Carlos Asuaje (age 25), who is hitting an astounding .279 in his rookie season. Cory Spangenberg (age 26) seems to have mentally elevated his game this season. Spangenberg is hitting .297 and slugging .523 since the all-star break. The Padres also see major potential in Manuel Margot (age 22), who is hitting .268 with 12 stolen bases this season.
Pitching Needs Help
For stringing together a group of below-average veteran pitchers, the Padres pitching staff performed exactly how they were expected: below average. Excluding Trevor Cahill (who was traded), not a single Padres starter has an ERA under 4.0. Clayton Richard has pitched awful this season, getting shelled in nearly every start with a 4.96 ERA. Luis Perdomo has shown flashes of greatness, but has overall struggled with a 4.69 ERA. After a very respectable career, Jared Weaver decided to retire after posting a 7.44 ERA.
Tanking in September
Why Tank? The Padres have been tanking for years. San Diego has not had a winning season since 2010 and accumulated plenty of draft picks. The Padres should end on a high note and give fans something to look forward to. Going on a winning streak in September would set the tone for 2018. Although I doubt Green or Preller would allow tanking, it isn’t going to make this young, talented, roster want to stay in San Diego.
In the end, this season has taught us that the future is bright for these young Padres, and it is becoming clear that they are beginning to turn the corner.