San Diego Padres
Key Additions— Huston Street, Carlos Quentin, Reds Farm System
Key Losses——-Mat Latos, Heath Bell,
Lineup—Considering they play in a very large ballpark, this lineup may end up scoring the least runs in the league. I really don’t see who is a constant who is going to provide the stability in this offense. They gave Cameron Maybin a nice contract, and his defense is great, but he is still a below average hitter. Will Venable will hold on the right field spot, and Jesus Guzman seems to be the front runner to start in LF. The hope is Carlos Quentin can get healthy and provide that middle of the order bat in the outfield. I was and still am very high on Yonder Alonso while he was with the Reds, and look forward to seeing how he produces for this team. To me, the rest of the infield is very average at best, with Jason Bartlett playing SS, Orlando Hudson at 2b, and Chase Headley at 3b. Nick Hundley has a chance to be an above average catcher if he can play 140 games, but if not they have Yasmani Grandal who is another player they got from the Reds. While I think this offense can be good in a few years, this year is going to be a struggle.
Pitching—There are some good arms on this team that I expect to have pretty solid years for the Padres. Honestly, it is hard to tell the true numbers with the park, but they should have some guys that have solid numbers at the end. I really like how they got Edinson Volquez in the Mat Latos trade, and if he has a bounce back year they could either look to extend him or deal him for some more pieces in the future. Cory Luebke will finally get the chance to stay in the rotation and has the ability to be a #2 or 3 pitcher for this team. Tim Stauffer and Clayton Richard both produced pretty good numbers last year, and should do the same if they can go 200 innings. The bullpen has been the strength in the past, but with the loss of Bell to the Marlins they will struggle at times. Yes they did pick up Huston Street, but all in all this bullpen is a long ways from where they were a few years ago.
Outlook—All in all, this is another team with a plan. I like the deals they made in the offseason, and love what they got in return with the Reds. They potentially got 2 future middle of the order bats as well as a chip in Volquez that could prove very valuable. But for this season, this team will really struggle to score runs no matter how productive this staff is. Taking into account the quality of the pitching staff in the NL West, be prepared for some low scoring games in San Diego this year.