San Diego Padres morning after: MVP, LVP and unsung hero of the first half

At the 81-game mark of the season, the players who have stood out in good and bad ways for the San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim
San Diego Padres second baseman Ha-Seong Kim / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola
San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres: Least Valuable Player of the first 81 games

Someone had to wear the title, and there were some candidates to take the title from Austin Nola (we're looking at you, Matt Carpenter and Luis Garcia), but the Padres catcher simply has been bad at the plate during the season's first half.

Including Thursday's 0-for-3 performance in Pittsburgh, Nola is now slashing just .138/.254/.187 through his first 123 at-bats. His OPS+ of 30 and minus-0.6 bWAR entering Thursday was the lowest of any Padres position player with more than 100 at-bats. While Gary Sanchez was highly complimentary of the helpfulness of Nola since Sanchez arrived in San Diego, it's hard to overlook the issues that Nola is presenting behind the plate when he's inserted into the batting order.

With Luis Campusano working his way back from a thumb injury and Sanchez seemingly entrenched as part of the lineup moving forward, it's hard to envision exactly how long the Padres will keep the 33-year-old Nola as part of the squad.