The San Diego Padres kicked off the month of August with a win against the Chicago Cubs but it’s time to start looking ahead to 2019.
With the Padres far and away from being playoff-bound, the next fifty-one games provide Andy Green and the San Diego Padres front office an opportunity to test out the youngsters and begin their 2019 preparations.
Andy Green prefers playing Travis Jankowski against right-handed pitchers and Hunter Renfroe against the lefties, however, Hunter Renfroe is a serious power threat, a former first-round pick, and still has the potential to be a longer-term answer to right field, for now. The Padres must give him enough opportunities and continuous plate appearances to see what he has to offer, and if Renfroe fails to deliver, the Padres can move on from him in the off-season.
Travis Jankowski has cooled off significantly and is now hitting .249/.326/.322. Despite possessing exceptional defensive abilities and a high success rate on the basepaths, Jankowski isn’t an everyday player. Over his last 15 games, he’s hitting .173 with a .218 OBP. Stretch that out over the past month and he’s still only hitting .219.
Identify your starters for the 2019 season.
Since the All-Star break, Tyson Ross is pitching to an ERA of 5.40 with a 1.80 WHIP. He has walked seven in 10 innings pitched. Clayton Richard has been no better, yielding an astronomical ERA of 10.38 in 13 innings pitched.
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The current situation provides the Friars an opportunity to try out a few Triple-A starters who have earned their chance. Walker Lockett was placed on the 40-man roster because the team did not want to lose him in the Rule-5 draft, meaning the coaching staff believes he may have something to offer. Brett Kennedy has also earned his shot at pitching at the highest level, he has yet to lose a game in El Paso. While win/loss records mean nothing, his advanced numbers all show he has nothing left to prove in AAA. Maybe even Chris Paddock can get a couple of bullpen appearances at the end of the year, just to see what he has.
Although Luis Urias has struggled hitting the ball in El-Paso, he is still slashing .270/.380/.402. He is fresh off a three-hit game and there is no better time to call him up to the majors. Let the kid develop the skills on-job.
The struggling Padres’ bats could also be infused by inserting Francisco Mejia in the line-up. Why not get a head start of having Mejia become familiar with the arms that are sure to be back next season and make a big impact, like a Matt Strahm, Joey Lucchesi, and Eric Lauer (when he returns from the DL). No sense in having players who won’t be around next year block the future. It’s time for some big changes to be made and some major league evaluation to start taking place.