Happy Friday, Friar Faithful! A big series begins tonight in the desert as the San Diego Padres kick off a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
With Arizona being 2.0 games ahead of the Padres in the NL West and Wild Card standings, this is a chance for the Padres to start their climb toward the postseason. It's also the beginning of a big stretch for San Diego as they face multiple teams who are competing with them for a postseason berth.
First pitch on Friday in Phoenix is set for 6:40 p.m. (Pacific) with Blake Snell (8-8, 2.61 ERA) taking the mound for the Padres and Ryne Nelson (6-6, 5.16 ERA) opposing him for Arizona.
San Diego Padres: Prospect rankings get big shakeup
With the dust from the MLB trade deadline settling, MLB.com has finally adjusted their prospect rankings ... and there is plenty of good news on the Padres front.
Ethan Salas has not only been promoted within the Padres organization this season (moving up to High-A), but has also been promoted to the top Padres prospect by MLB.com. Jackson Merrill takes a step back to number two, but the news isn't all bad for the shortstop prospect. Both he and Salas are in the top 10 overall MLB prospects, with Salas at number five and Merrill at number nine. San Diego and the Washington Nationals are the only two MLB teams with a pair of prospects in the overall top 10.
Also in MLB's top 100 are left-hander Robby Snelling (number 65) and right-hander Dylan Lesko (number 68). Merrill is the only one of the four that has reached Double-A so far.
Within the Padres rankings, MLB.com called out catcher Brandon Valenzuela (currently at Double-A) as the biggest mover within the organization, jumping from not being ranked at the start of the season to San Diego's number nine prospect.
A troubling statistic for the San Diego Padres
As Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune pointed out in this article, "(Ji Man) Choi is 0-for-9 with five walks in his first 14 plate appearances for the Padres. In Matt Carpenter’s most-recent 14 plate appearances, he was 0-for-11 with three walks."
It's clear that the Padres haven't figured out what to do at designated hitter, even with the trade deadline moves. For San Diego to grab a Wild Card spot, production has to start coming out of this spot, which is ranked 29th out of MLB's 30 teams at minus-1.5 bWAR this season.