San Diego Padres: Brad Hand Could Be A Force This Year

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PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09: Brad Hand
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09: Brad Hand /
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Brad Hand is due to have a big season. The San Diego Padres are greatly improved and the bullpen has been revamped. This should put Hand in the position to accumulate more saves this year than originally projected.

The San Diego Padres signed closer Brad Hand to a three-year, $19.75 million extension this past offseason with good reason. Hand, 27,  is coming off of a career-year in which he had a sparkling 2.16 ERA, 0933 WHIP, and 11.8 SO/9.

Now that the Padres’ bullpen has been revitalized with the addition of Kazuhisa Makita and the return of Carter Capps, it should leave Hand in more favorable situations when he does come in.

With Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates coming off of decent 2017 campaigns of their own, plus Makita reinforcing the back-end of the ‘pen, the Friars’ late-game leads, which should come more often this year than in seasons past, will be in good hands.

San Diego Padres should have arms at their disposal

There are more than a couple of San Diego Padres’ pitchers that won’t secure a spot in the rotation straight out of Spring Training. There are simply too many talented arms on the roster for A.J. Preller, Andy Green, and the rest of the decision-makers to not fill out the rest of their bullpen with the “left-overs”.

Guys like Matt Strahm, Tyson Ross, and even guys like Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea could end up staying on the Friars’ 25-man roster as long-relievers and/or traditional relief pitchers.

Brad Wieck has impressed in camp thus far, as has Kyle McGrath. There will likely be a great deal of turnover as the season wears on. Whether guys get hurt, have a bad stretch of outings, or whatever calamities may befall the Padres’ pitching corps, moves will undoubtedly need to be made.

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Hurlers who might not break camp with the big club will have something to work toward, and the ones who do make the ballclub will have to continue to prove their worth in order to keep their spots. The rest of Spring Training should be a hoot!

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