81 games are under the bridge, well technically 84 are gone, but for the purpose of this article we will just count the first 81. There’s no question that the season has been tough for the fans. After all, some of the players that were supposed to be contributing are either hurt or have under-performed. So with this in mind let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of this half season.
Although the season has been a horrible disappointment for most of the team, there have been few bright spots. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1.- Wil Myers
Let’s take the obvious right out of the equation early. Myers has been one of the top-5 players in the National League during the first half of 2016. He’s been amazing to watch so far this season. During the month of the June he played like a man possessed as he broke Greg Vaughn‘s franchise record for home runs in a month with eleven. When Myers got here last season we all knew that he had special talent, it was only a matter of health with him. Well this season he’s avoided the injury bug and he has produced like an absolute superstar.
2.- Fernando Rodney
Rodney is no longer a part of the Padres organization, but there’s no denying that he was a huge surprise for most Padres fans. He had struggled mightily in Seattle and a lot of teams had buried him as an unreliable closer, but A.J. Preller decided to roll the dice. That proved to be a very smart gamble as while in San Diego, Rodney only allowed one earned run over almost 30 innings pitched. While nobody would ever claim that he’s dominant he became relevant enough for the Marlins to trade for his services. Rodney also became a fan favorite because of his light-hearted approach to the game. He truly had fun out there and the fans appreciated that.
3.- Melvin Upton Jr.
Since being acquired last season Upton has been playing rather well. He was once considered one of the worst contracts in the league, but now he is easily one of the Padres best players. He does things on defense that are very special. Offensively he is no slouch either and has produced numerous walk-off hits for the Padres this season. Upton has silenced all the critics and has boosted his value. The Padres may attempt to deal Upton this trade deadline in order to give more playing time to its younger players.
The left-handed hurler went from possible bullpen piece to ace of the staff. He has been lights out for the team and appears to be getting better. Pomeranz has always had the ability but working with Daren Balsley has surely help him develop as a pitcher. He is approaching his highest season total in terms of innings pitched. That is a bit of a concern but the 27-year-old should be fine. Oh and he can swing the bat too.
The team only won 35 games in the first 81 so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that is not a very good record. Let’s take a look at what has been bad so far in 2016 for the team.
1.- James Shields
Like Rodney, Shields is no longer part of the team (Thank God) but he was for most part of the first half. There’s no question that he was beyond horrible for the team. When the Padres signed him in the spring of 2015 we were expecting a workhorse that would eat up innings and stop losing streaks. We never got that pitcher. For some reason whether age or lack of interest, Shields always under-performed in San Diego as a Padre.
2.- The record against the Giants
We all have nemesis in life. We all have that one opponent that is tough to beat, but 0-9 vs a division rival is completely unacceptable. I know the Giants are pretty good and that they have better overall talent, but the fact that the Padres haven’t won one game in nine opportunities is a disgrace. The team needs to show up against a team like the Giants especially in a rebuilding year.
3.- Brandon Maurer
This one is tough for me, there’s no bigger fan of Brandon Maurer than myself, but he’s been borderline awful this season for the Padres. I think the problem is mental because he has nasty stuff on the mound. He lacks consistency and now that he is the teams closer, it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the job.
There have been a couple of ugly episodes this season but two come to mind for me.
Opening day. I’m 27 years old and I plan on living at least 40 more years. For as long as I’m alive, I will never forget the beating that the Padres took that day. It was embarrassing. A disgrace.
June 2nd. The Padres have lost many games in their history, but none but was more embarrassing that the 10 run comeback that the Seattle Mariners staged on the Padres that night. It takes a special kind of bad team to take this kind of defeat, and it seems that the 2016 Padres are a special kind of bad.
Overall the season has been uninteresting for many fans, but thanks to Myers performance it has been watchable.