The San Diego Padres are in Arizona to take on the first-place Diamondbacks in a three-game set. Let’s take a look at how the Padres match up against their weekend foe.
This week has not been fun for fans of the San Diego Padres. The best part about baseball, however, is that you always get to wake up and play another game the next day. Coming off three-straight losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres are looking to rebound against the 13-5 Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks have yet to lose a series in 2018. They are 6-0 after securing series’ wins against the Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Dodgers and Giants twice.
The probable pitching matchups are as follows:
Can San Diego hitters handle the Arizona pitching staff?
While the Padres avoid Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, they will have to face Patrick Corbin. Corbin’s last outing came against the Giants, a nine-inning, one hit, shutout performance. He walked only one batter and struck out eight.
The Diamondbacks’ pitching staff as a whole has the lowest ERA in the National League at 2.87. They have the fourth highest amount of strikeouts and have walked the third fewest number of batters this season.
A season-ending injury to Taijuan Walker forces Matt Koch to make a spot-start for Arizona, a matchup the Padres have to capitalize on tonight.
Runs are sure to be at a premium in Arizona this weekend. San Diego comes into the contest hitting .225 as a team, good for 12th in the NL. Arizona hasn’t fared much better to begin the season, hitting .230 as of Friday morning. Both squads come in ranked 10th and 11th in on-base percentage (.309 AZ, .299 SD).
Does a Padres’ outfielder step up this weekend?
Manager Andy Green will be forced to make a tough decision in the next few days. Outfielders Manuel Margot and Wil Myers will be making their returns from the disabled list soon, forcing at least one outfielder on the current 25-man roster to be sent down to El Paso.
Hunter Renfroe was the odd-man out to start the season and hasn’t shown he’s deserving of full-time starting duties. He looks uncomfortable at the plate and has failed in a few clutch situations recently, like striking out with bases loaded against the Dodgers earlier this week.
His defense has also been suspect in his limited playing time. He’s struggling to judge the ball coming off the bat, as evidenced by his poor routes to the ball on a few occasions. However, let’s chalk that up to lack of regular playing time and see if he can make the necessary adjustments. His hitting potential is too powerful to overlook.
The battle to keep a 25-man roster spot may come down to Franchy Cordero and Matt Szczur. Szczur’s value is that of a tough-out late in a tight game, however, Cordero provides more athleticism and potential than anyone on the Padres’ roster.
The real focus of this weekend is Hunter Renfroe. If he can force Andy Green to keep him in the lineup, it may require a move of Jose Pirela to second base.
Let’s hope the Padres come out swinging after having a day off on Thursday. #LetsGoPadres