Is there any hope left at all for 2023 Padres?

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Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Padres season seems to be circling the drain already before the All-Star break. Is there any hope?

When the season began, most pundits had the Padres among the handful of teams with a legitimate chance to win a World Series. Understandable, as the Padres were fresh off of a run to the NLCS and added Xander Bogaerts, with Fernando Tatis Jr. returning as well. FanGraphs had their chances at making the playoffs at 85.3 percent, with the second-highest odds to win the World Series at 11.1 percent.

That was before the Padres became historically bad at hitting with runners in scoring position. Before the listless and sometimes selfish play. Before the growing questions about A.J. Preller’s player development strategies. Now, the season seems on the brink of being hopeless before the summer even reaches its peak.

Now, after yet another series loss, this time to the Reds, those odds are down to 21.9 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

So, technically, there is still hope. However, it’s down to worse than one-out-of-four odds to make the playoffs.

A quick glance at the standings will paint a bleak picture. Not only are the Padres 11 1/2 games back of the first place, upstart Diamondbacks in the NL West, but they are way behind in the Wild Card race too. They are eight games back of the third Wild Card spot, with six teams they would need to leapfrog to jump to a playoff spot.

One might expect a few of these teams to regress, such as as the Cubs, Pirates, and Reds. However, last year’s National League-pennant-winning Phillies are starting to find their groove after a Padres-like slow start.

To fully flesh out the Padres’ chances, we need to examine the entire National League and where the open spots may be.

At this point, winning the division is a fantasy. Even if the Diamondbacks fall back down to Earth, there are still the Dodgers and Giants to contend with. It is more likely one or both of those squads fully figure it out before the Padres do.

There are three Wild Card spots. There is a very good chance that at least one of those spots will go to either the Dodgers, Giants, or Diamondbacks. Perhaps, it will be two spots.

That leaves one spot for likely five or six teams to gun for. That’s a crowded room that the Padres barely squeeze into at the moment.

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Are the Padres more talented than the Marlins, Reds, Pirates, or Cubs? Yes, on paper.

The fact is, talent doesn’t win baseball games. That has become clear. What wins is preparation and execution of that preparation in the games. That is where the Padres are falling laughably short while other seemingly less-talented teams are getting it done.

The Rockies, Cubs, Giants, Phillies, and Reds all have a better team OPS than the Padres. The Marlins, Giants, and Cubs all have a better ERA+ than the Padres’ staff.

Remember those tales of the historic turnarounds of the 2019 Nationals and 2021 Braves?

They were both at .500 through 88 games. That is impossible for the Padres to achieve now.

At eight games back with over 70 games left to play, it is statistically not impossible for the Padres to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get back into it.

However, the team appears stuck in neutral. Now, there are rumors of discord in the clubhouse. Stars aren’t getting it done, most egregious of which being Manny Machado. The bullpen is thin. Unless the Padres experience a massive, unexpected, borderline miraculous turnaround in July, it may be time to make other arrangements for your late summer and autumn plans.

Because it might not include Padres baseball.

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3 thoughts on “Is there any hope left at all for 2023 Padres?

  1. The front office invested/spent all that money to set the team up for runs at the title for the next couple years. Now there are so many people calling for a teardown of the whole things after half a season. Pick up one game in the standings every week or so, and September will be relevant.

  2. This is just like the end of the 21 season. There is something horribly rotten, but no one is willing or able to say what it is, let alone confront it and resolve it.

    These things do not resolve themselves. And with no one able or willing, there is no hope.

    Within the next 30 days the Rockstar is going to massively compound the problems through even more bad trades. And we’re all stuck watching this slow trainwreck right in front of us, with nothing we can do about it, except remember that we are Padres’ fans, and this is how things always turn out for this team.

  3. To answer your question, no, there is no hope for this year, nor the next several years. Why? Because they are stuck with the worst GM in history…because the owner just doubled down on Preller and BoMel.

    So, instead of cleaning house, getting a competent GM, and leveraging some talent in some profitable trades this month, and having massive potential for the next several years…the Padres are going to give away whatever value they have in the minors in a absurdly foolish attempt to save this doomed team.

    Get used to sucky, thanks to AJ, and to ownership.

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