Padres offense is striking out early and often this spring

We’re just a week into Cactus League action and there’s no reason to panic. But the San Diego Padres offense has been relatively quiet so far this spring.

As of Monday, San Diego ranks 25th among the 30 MLB teams with a .695 OPS – better than just five teams. Again, if you’re looking for a sign it’s nothing to worry about, just look at some of the teams who rank below the Friars: the Yankees, Astros and Cardinals. Of course, the Orioles and Pirates are down there, too, but it’s clear that you can’t make too much of the fact.

San Diego has tallied 33 runs in eight games (4.1 runs per game) to this point. It’s not really any one area where the team has struggled – it’s just a general slow start. The Padres are barely above the Mendoza Line in terms of average (.205), have just cracked the .300 mark in terms of OBP and are slugging only .390 as a squad.

The big red flag is the team’s strikeout total. The Padres rank second in punchouts (73) – trailing just one team, fellow NL West team Arizona Diamondbacks. Pair that with the fact San Diego ranks in the bottom third of the league in walks and it’s not a great look for Jayce Tingler’s club early on.

Some of the team’s slowest starters to this point include Tommy Pham (.231 OPS), Ha-Seong Kim (.368 OPS), Eric Hosmer (.500 OPS) and Jurickson Profar (.543 OPS). Pham could play a pivotal role in the offense this season and, given he’s in a contract year, he needs to perform well as badly as the team needs him to perform.

Padres offense has some strong performers, as well

There are some standouts, though.

Trent Grisham is playing like a man possessed this spring, slashing .333/.538/.889 in five contests. The San Diego outfielder could be poised for a breakout 2021 season after quietly turning in a very solid 2020 campaign.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is, well, Fernando Tatis. Jr. He’s got an OPS near 1.300 and already has a grand slam bat flip to his credit this spring. Jake Cronenworth and Wil Myers have been doing work, too, so, again, it’s not all bad news.

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There’s still plenty of time before Opening Day. Right now, it’s about reps and putting in the work. But it’s still worth at least being aware of the early returns, especially when it comes to key question marks like Pham.