A look at five tasks a new San Diego Padres manager must achieve for success in 2020 and beyond.
In 2020 there will be a new skipper at the helm of the San Diego Padres.
This new leader will have the chore of turning around a franchise that has been a mess for a long time. The San Diego Padres have not sniffed playoff baseball in well over ten years. The organization is on the rise, but there is still much to do. The fan base is certainly not content.
A.J. Preller is undoubtedly feeling the pressure after letting go of Andy Green, who he handpicked to lead the team. It is safe to say that if the new manager does not have a certain amount of success, Preller will be the one who is questioned next. There is no more time for excuses.
The life of a manager in the major leagues is rough. There are so many expectations each day.
On top of daily responsibilities, here is a look at five key things that must be addressed by the new Padre manager.
Get Hedges and Mejia to work together
In reality, these two men complement each other very well. Austin Hedges is the defensive force that is needed while Francisco Mejia provides unlimited offensive ability from a switch-hitting bat. The team could deal one of the two, but there is still a very high probability that they remain on the roster together in 2020. If utilized correctly, this tandem could be very useful in the game of baseball. Could you imagine using Hedges very late in games as a closer in the catcher’s position? Also worth noting is the new expanded 26-man roster that could result in a few teams keeping a third catcher on the team. Austin Allen or Luis Torrens could still factor when it is all said and done.
Improve the play of Hosmer and Machado
These two superstars had terrible years in 2019. Both men are capable of more, and they must improve if this team is to take their total game into a whole new level. Macahdo spoke to the team after the last game of the season in Arizona and reportedly talked about accountability and how they all must improve. If a new manager can motivate both Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado, then the Padres could very well be a sleeping giant in the NL. Each player can be better, and you have to think the right mix of players and coaches around them will spark their competitive juices. Getting the most out of their superstar players will be critical to the Padres’ success.
Get some consistency out of Wil Myers
Myers is very frustrating to watch. He can look like a perennial All-Star for stretches but then falls into horrible streaks where he gives away at-bats left and right. The right-hander has an unorthodox swing, but there are more concerns about his approach at the plate than the dynamics behind his swing. Myers has a confidence issue, and a new manager must address this and get the best out of the talented slugger. Easier said than done. Myers could still be dealt, but if he remains with the Padres- the new skipper will need to figure out the enigma that is Wil Myers.
Develop the pitching staff further
The San Diego Padres will have some “veteran” pitchers in the rotation in 2020 as Dinelson Lamet and Garrett Richards should be in the mix. Lamet is not considered a proven veteran, but he should have little to no limitations in the 2020 season. Richards will lead, and there is a chance of a veteran pitcher or two being added to the team, but the Padres will still have plenty of young pitchers on the roster. With young hurlers, there are ups and downs, and the new manager must be able to ride through the growing pains that are inevitable with youth attempting to pitch at the highest level. Cultivating all these young arms will be another key to long-lasting success for the Padres.
Continue cultivation of a “Padres Way”
Andy Green spoke of this early in his tenure, but it certainly went to the back-burner as the team struggled in recent years. The new skipper must preach of turning the thought process around in San Diego. The Padres must get out of this helpless funk they have been on to reach the next level in their quest.
This will not be an easy thing to accomplish, but the team has a roster worth noting now, and there are no more excuses. With brown permanently on their backs for the 2020 season, the Padres have their identity back. The next step is improving the play on the field. A new skipper will go a long way towards building a sense of tradition in San Diego.
These five tasks are just the tip of the iceberg that is the San Diego Padres. The new manager will have a challenge in front of them. The ingredients are there for a possible successful team, but the Padres must find the right chef to turn their store-bought groceries into a world-class meal.