San Diego Padres: 5 player improvements needed to contend

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres tosses his bat after striking out during the the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park September 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres tosses his bat after striking out during the the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park September 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Garrett Richards
Garrett  Richards #43 of the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Garrett  Richards has to stay healthy

This may not be one that Garrett Richards can do much about, but we really just need the right-hander to stay healthy this year.

I have very little doubt that if he can stay healthy and on the mound, he’ll be a top of the rotation pitcher for the Padres in 2020.

light. Related Story. 2020 could hinge on arm of Richards

Over his career, he has a 3.60 ERA in 753.1 innings with 656 strikeouts.

Even if he can just put up those types of numbers over 170 innings for the Padres in 2020, it will be a huge boost.

The 31-year-old hasn’t pitched over 100 innings in a season since 2015, so asking him to give us over 150 in 2020 is a big ask, but it’s certainly what I expect from him.

And when San Diego signed him to a two-year, $15.5 million deal, they were certainly expecting a big 2020 season from Richards.

I’m sure Tingler and the coaching staff will do a good job of limiting his innings early and making sure he stays as healthy as possible.

But getting 150-170 innings out of Richards this season will be huge in helping the team contend for a spot in the postseason.

Here’s to hoping Richards has a healthy and successful season. Sending him all the good vibes and well wishes.

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