Inconsistencies Define the Padres’ Performance So Far

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Padres

There is a common theme when speaking about the 2019 San Diego Padres and that is inconsistency. The youthful team has struggled to play to their ability all year, but that was to be expected with the youngest team in the major leagues.

Until the Padres signed Manny Machado to his 10-year $300 million contract, the best-case scenario looked to be a .500 finish this season. Then the Padres got off to the team’s hottest start in what seems like ages and occupied first place in the National League West for a couple of days.

Lately, though, weaknesses and inconsistencies have reared their ugly heads. The Los Angeles Dodgers have returned to the top of the heap in the division, and San Diego has lost three games in a row including two to the struggling Colorado Rockies.

With the season in its first full month and an 11-8 record, the Padres still have plenty of opportunities to regroup if the team performs more consistently.

San Diego especially needs to improve its run differential which stands at -12.0.  In contrast, the Tampa Bay Rays (+47.0), Seattle Mariners (+30.0) and Dodgers (+29.0) lead baseball in that key measurement.   Other inconsistencies in the numbers match the play on the field.

Last year the Padres ended the season at the bottom in multiple categories including on-base percentage.  So far, the team has improved but still doesn’t sport the numbers expected of a winning team.  With a huge assist from espn.com, below you’ll find an exploration of the Padres performance measured against the best at this point.

Batters

Runs scored Mariners 1st 132 SD 23rd 68

HR          Seattle 1st42              SD 7th 28

Hits         Seattle 1st195            SD 20th 139

BA           Dodgers 1st .277      SD 21st.229

OBP        Atlanta 1st .365       SD 22nd .300

OPS        Dodgers 1st.874       SD 19th .721

SO           Angels 1st103          SD 18th 166

Walks     Dodgers 1st 87        SD 22nd 57

GDP        Miami 1st 23          SD 7th 17

XBH        Seattle 1st 88        SD 10th 60

 

Pitchers

ERA         Rays 1st 2.33          SD 10th 3.91

Walks      Houston 1st 38     SD 6th53

SO            Tampa 1st 186        SD 6th 173

BAA         Houston 1st.199    SD 14th .241

OPS         Rays 1st.563           SD 15th .724

SV%         Angels 1st100.00  SD 10th 76.92

WHIP      Houston 1st 0.97   SD 8th 1.23

K/BB       Houston 1st 4.55   SD 6th 3.26

K/9          Cleveland 1st 10.67 SD 12th 9.27

P/PA       Seattle 1st 3.73        SD 8th 3.89

 

Fielders

Errors     Royals 1st 4             SD 14th 9

FPCT       Royals 1st .994       SD 11th .987

Assists     Rockies 1st 199      SD 10th174

DRS         Giants 1st 31           SD 11th 9

 

The stats match the inconsistencies we see on the field, as do some of the moves by the front office.  The two most experienced starting pitchers, Joey Lucchesi, and Eric Lauer have one year to their credit.   Chris Paddack, Nick Margevicius and Pedro Avila (who had a spot start against the Arizona Diamondbacks) skipped a bunch of traditional stops on the way to the big leagues.  So far, A.J. Preller and company have chosen not to acquire a veteran starting pitcher.

However, the front office did sign a 36-year-old infielder (Ian Kinsler) to a two-year contract with an option instead of trusting Luis Urias at second base.  Kinsler’s leadership abilities cannot make up for his batting line of .148/.246/.241, and platooning will not help Urias’ development.  Even more confusing, the Padres signed Eric Hosmer last year in part for his leadership abilities so why the need for another veteran position player?

At the beginning of the season, the team even played a little small ball, highlighted by Wil Myers bunting down the third base line for a base hit in a close game against the San Francisco Giants. Austin Hedges drove him in, and the Padres came away with a 3-1 victory.  Now the strategy seems to have reverted to waiting for the big fly.  The Padres rank only 11th in home runs per game with 1.47 per game, while Seattle leads with an average of 2.00.

The Padres enjoyed an off day on Wednesday and surely recharged their batteries.  Perhaps that will help the team to get back on track and aim for an increased measure of consistency. Coming off three straight losses (against the Diamondbacks and the Rockies), the Padres have what Jerry Coleman would have called a “golden opportunity.”  The Cincinnati Reds, a team with five wins total and second only to the Miami Marlins in futility in the National League, will play four games against the home team.

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Diane Calkins
Baseball has been a part of Diane's life since her father played professionally (mostly at the minor league level). She has written for a number of publications and concentrated on companion animal welfare. She welcomes the opportunity to write about the sport she loves. Diane shares her home with her husband and a house full of rescued animals.

3 thoughts on “Inconsistencies Define the Padres’ Performance So Far

  1. Well, the last two games, 3 strikeouts in the 9th inning, 25 pitches, no contact. They are pressing, especially at home, typical for young players. Swinging wildly with no one on and 3 runs down. Hero ball. They don’t trust their teamates. Putting Tatis, your best bitter right now, on an island between the pitcher and Hosmer is a mistake. I know Hosmer did well today, but the real Hosmer is around the corner. 2nd base, they need help. Urias, give the kid some abs in the minors. All you are doing is killing his confidence. Big time. He was not ready. Same with Mejia. He needs time to develop.
    The pitching has been better than expected so far, but they too are stressed, too many innings for the bullpen and always knowing one mistake will cost you the game, they have to be perfect.
    This team cannot score runs.
    They lost to Colorado and Cincinnati, 5 in a row instead of padding their 1st place lead.
    They are too young and have no leadership.

    Catchers and 2nd base never appeared.
    Machado will gain his stride eventually.
    They will pitch around Tatis because he has no one to protect him. Hope he does not develop bad habits, chasing bad pitches instead of taking walks and stealing 2nd.
    Be patient. They may never catch the Dodgers for the division, too much talent, pitching and hitting. But maybe get in the mix for the playoffs, then take advantage of the Dodgers annual playoff swoon.
    2021, 2022 the latest, then shoot for the playoffs.
    Don’t trade away the future of the team to win now.
    They tried that a few years ago, Shields, Kemp, remember?

  2. Having watched this team for a few years now, it’s all on “Preller.” He assembled it and I think he is the one telling Andy Green who to play and where. Except for Hosmer, Tatis and Machado, no one knows their role and if they will be in the lineup or not. You can’t expect players to do well when they are looking over their shoulders. As for Kinsler, I totally agree with Diane. Why was he brought in?

    AJ Preller is a very stubborn individual. He refuses to believe he makes mistakes and he is hell bent on making sure “his players” are on the field. And now with a super, young pitching staff, he continues to insist Mejia has what it takes to mentor this staff? It’s NUTS! Send Mejia down OR trade him. Tell Austin Hedges the team is “his” and let’s make our pitchers the best they can be! However, I have to give Preller credit for one thing; like Kevin Towers, he has a good eye for pitching. Paddock, Strahm, Lucchesi, Lauer, etc. can be really good. But man oh man, the rest of the team – except for Tatis, Hosmer and Machado, looks bad, REALLY bad.

  3. The best case for this club is .500, and that’s after adding Machado. Without him they wouldn’t sniff it.
    Preller is making a mistake not to be more aggressive. You don’t sign Manny and then coast, you put the pedal down. There won’t be quality starters available until June, but he should go get one of them at that time.
    Speaking of inconsistencies, Andy Green needs to be put on the hot seat. At at time when clubs hits their best hitter 2nd, he hits Machado third, and bats Hosmer 2nd. This is laughable incompetence. Hosmer is hitting .194 and is a GDP risk everytime he’s up with a man on base.
    Guys having better years: Machado, Tatis, Margot, Renfroe, Reyes, Myers, all of them, everyone of them should bat ahead of the worm killer.
    As measured by results versus expectations Hosmer is the worst hitter on the team. to give him so many at bats is the worst kind of stupidity. If he stays stubborn on this, Green should be fired.

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Diane Calkins
Baseball has been a part of Diane's life since her father played professionally (mostly at the minor league level). She has written for a number of publications and concentrated on companion animal welfare. She welcomes the opportunity to write about the sport she loves. Diane shares her home with her husband and a house full of rescued animals.