San Diego Padres’ Brad Hand is Off to a Rough Start

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 5: Brad Hand
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 5: Brad Hand /

San Diego Padres’ star closer Brad Hand has had a rough start to the 2018 season. If he cannot find his groove soon enough, the Friars will be forced to consider other options.

Brad Hand finds himself in unknown territory. He has consistently missed the strike zone and has been responsible for a couple of San Diego Padres’ losses already.

He has also not found the rub of the green going his way. If he continues to flounder, Andy Green will definitely have to put his thinking hat on and explore the other possibilities.

Brad Hand is off to a rough start for the San Diego Padres in 2018

The Friars were leading 6-3 in the top of the ninth against the Brewers in the second game of the season.

In comes Brad Hand, the star-closer fresh off a three-year, $18 million contract extension that would keep him in Padres’ uniform until 2020 (club option in 2021), and concedes five earned runs including a towering three-run homer to Ryan Braun, sealing the Friars’ fate.

Yesterday was another instance in which Hand couldn’t find the strike zone, against the Rockies. In a beautifully pitched, scoreless game, Brad Hand flinched first in the top of the ninth. His line was as follows: walk, walk, error, strikeout, walk, strikeout. Yuck.

Brad Hand’s stat line through the Friars’ first seven games is five hits, eight runs allowed (two earned runs), five strikeouts, three walks and an ugly 2.00 WHIP in four innings pitched.

Hand is capable of producing better numbers, this much we know. The Friars are now off to Houston to take on the reigning World Series champions. They will have to be exceptional to have any chances of winning even a game.

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Brad Hand has Andy Green’s back

From Jeff Sanders’ article in The San Diego Union-Tribune, Andy Green had this to say about Hand’s poor performance:

“He’s a guy we believe in a lot and will continue to believe in a lot. He’s got a long history of throwing the ball well in a Padres uniform and we’re going to continue to believe in that history. Today was a rough one for him. He’ll be the first to stand up and own that.”

While Andy Green has expressed tremendous confidence in Brad Hand, it may not be a bad idea to make Hand the setup guy to Craig Stammen or Kazuhisa Makita if he fails to impress in his next few outings.

Both Stammen and Makita have looked extremely sharp on the mound and have had the best looking. In fact, Stammen is yet to yield a run in the five innings he has pitched.

Next: Series Preview vs. Houston Astros

Brad Hand is an exceptional pitcher and we all believe in him. Hopefully, he can brush aside his early struggles. Sometimes baseball is not only played in the ballpark, it’s also played between the ears.