San Diego Padres scapegoats: 1 to fire, 1 to put on the hot seat, 1 to be patient with

A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres
A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages
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A.J. Preller, San Diego Padres
A.J. Preller, San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres fans need to be patient with General Manager A.J. Preller

A.J. Preller has not been perfect, but anyone who says he hasn't put together a playoff roster would be lying to themselves.

The Padres made the postseason and went all the way to the NLCS last season. Most of that roster is back, while he added Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts to the offense while also having Juan Soto and Josh Hader for the full season. The Padres even signed guys like Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo who have been among the team's best starting pitchers.

This team is underperforming expectations in a massive way, and something has to change, but Preller is not to be blamed for this. He has a better roster on paper than the team that was three wins away from a Pennant, yet they're nowhere near a postseason spot right now.

It's not his fault that virtually every player on this team has underperformed relative to what we can see on the backs of their baseball cards. If any of you had a crystal ball and told me Manny Machado would have a .654 OPS through May, I would've called you crazy. There was nothing that signalled this kind of start, and nothing that would've convinced me he'd be close to this bad. The same can be said about almost every Padres regular.

The Padres have a star-studded roster that hasn't performed. It's on the stars to perform, and on the coaches to get the most out of these players. Preller put together one of the best rosters in baseball. He'll continue to add to it, just like he did with the Gary Sanchez signing. What he can't do is predict these talented players to randomly fall off cliffs, which is what's been happening so far in 2023.