The 2017 San Diego Padres season is going to be fun.
There shouldn’t be an unrealistic expectation of World Championships, but I do expect to see a brand of baseball that is exciting to watch. The organizational philosophy of the team is changing, and with that, there is an emphasis on playing the game the right way.
A young team led by Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, and Austin Hedges promises to deliver hustle, desire and hard play on a daily basis. Manager Andy Green wouldn’t have it any other way. If you have ever looked the man in his eyes, you understand and feel the passion he has for the game. He will only surround himself with players who share that passion and love for the game. When completed, this San Diego Padres franchise will be special. It will take time though.
The offensive players are in place to start their respective major league careers, but the majority of the young pitching is a couple of seasons, (at the earliest) from showing up at Petco Park. Cal Quantrill, Anderson Espinoza, Eric Lauer, Austin Smith, Logan Allen, Jacob Nix, Jean Cosme, and company have very high ceilings, but each still need to develop some more in the minors.
Currently, the Padres have Luis Perdomo, Christian Friedrich, Jarred Cosart, and Paul Clemens penciled in as the top four in the rotation. Each are hardly a lock, although Perdomo and Friedrich would have to completely fall on their face in order to not make the rotation in 2017. The team needs arms, and in particular, they need innings eaters in the rotation. There is no way they want to repeat the season they just had, in which only Luis Perdomo was able to complete a whole nine-inning game. The bullpen was taxed constantly and the front office is surely in search of arms to throw multiple innings and take stress away from the rest of the pitching staff.
Finding an “innings eater” is not an easy thing to do, however. Starting pitching is at a premium right now and a pitcher who can go seven innings in every single start is very rare. The Padres have their work cut out for them.
In recent days, it has come out that the Texas Rangers are looking to move Derek Holland. He has two consecutive years of team options ($11 million on 2017 and $11.5 million on 2018) left on his contract and the team appears to be gauging the interest in the south paw. His numbers have dropped in recent years due to a series of different injuries. Last season, Holland went 7-9 in 20 starts (22 appearances), with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.407 WHIP. He was hit pretty hard, and his strikeout percentage dropped to an all-time low of 5.6 every nine innings. The 30-year-old pitcher is a great clubhouse presence, but does he have anything left in the tank?
The Rangers are in search of starting pitchers, and the fact they want to move Holland or get an upgrade for him is a bit troubling. He has a career record of 62-50 in 158 starts. In that span, he owns a career ERA of 3.42. Holland had an excellent year in 2013 as he went 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts. He pitched 213 innings that year and struck out 189 batters, compiling a 3.3 WAR for the Rangers. He is a more than capable pitcher, but health has always been an issue. He has had shoulder surgery on his left shoulder and has also had a knee injury. He looks to be healthy now, but as always when dealing with a starting pitcher, you have to proceed with caution. So is Derek Holland a good fit for the Padres, and what would it take for his services? Also, is there a possibility of a Mega Deal between these two teams?
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