If the San Diego Padres can continue to hit and get on base at the clips they have over the past week, we could be in for an incredibly exciting summer.
After taking two-of-three from the first-place Atlanta Braves this week, the San Diego Padres are 29-35, four-and-a-half games out of first-place in the National League West, and trying to keep pace with the division-leading Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks (both 32-29).
If the Friars’ offense can keep this current pace that they’re on, not only would it bode very well for their current season and the developmental trajectories of a young roster, it would significantly vault this team closer to a point that they haven’t been in a while; respectability.
The leader of the pack, figuratively and literally
To think, I actually questioned the worth of the San Diego Padres signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term contract. Maybe a week before he put pen-to-paper, I wondered aloud whether the pros of adding a proven veteran to a group of neophytes would outweigh the potential appearance of one too many of his infamous “off years”.
I couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong, as he’s demonstrated his value both on the field and in the clubhouse this season. He currently leads the NL in doubles (18) and leads all of baseball in awesome, jumping high-fives with a 6″5′ Franimal. His veteran presence in the Friars’ locker room has been more than evident, through the good times and the bad.
Over the team’s last seven games, Hosmer is hitting .385/.429/.538 with a double, a home run, seven runs batted in and just six strikeouts in 26 at-bats. This is precisely what the Padres’ front office had in mind when they brought the first-baseman into the mix.
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Speaking of Fran-tastic hitting
Over his last five games, Franmil Reyes is slashing .316/.350/.632 with two very impressive homers. His strikeouts are still a bit concerning (seven in his last 19 at-bats), but as we talked about earlier this week, he’s without question making headway.
Hunter Renfroe has been on fire since returning to the Friars. In 20 at-bats over his last seven games, including his pinch-hit grand slam on Sunday, he’s hitting .350/.458/.650 with five runs batted in and just three strikeouts.
Travis Jankowski continues to rake. He’s 6-for-19 this past week with a double and, just like Renfroe, has kept his punchouts to a minimum (two in his last 22 plate appearances).
Jose Pirela is slashing .296/333/.370 with a couple of extra-base hits (still no homers) over his last seven games. His consistency, and aversion to falling into deep funks, have served this team nicely so far.
Rafael Lopez has been sharing time virtually equally with A.J. Ellis behind the plate and he’s been taking advantage of the opportunity that Andy Green has given him. In fourteen at-bats over the last seven days, Lopez is hitting .286 with a .875 OPS and three runs batted in.
Manuel Margot is slowly coming out of his funk, slashing .250/.429/.313 over his last six games (sixteen at-bats), and just three Padres’ regulars are hitting the ball at an even-or-lower clip than him (Cory Spangenberg, also at .250 in 20 at-bats; Christian Villanueva, .222 in 18 at-bats; and Freddy Galvis, .208 in 24 at-bats).
If this is what we can expect to see when guys fall into slumps, other guys picking up the slack and in very big ways, the fabric of this young San Diego Padres team is bound to get a little richer and a bit more fortified over the coming months.