No disrespect to Bud Black and the regime that was here before Andy Green, but the Padres staff seems to have a leg up this year on their opponents. Not that Bud Black didn’t have the Padres prepared, but new manager Andy Green has a stigma about him and the way he is approaching his new job is very exciting.
Truly amazing that he is commanding so much respect, despite being a rookie manager and someone who has very little major league coaching experience. His preparation is refreshing and so are the cutting edge ideas he has in his philosophy of the game.
The Padres are working out very hard, but for less hours so far this spring. Green believes the team doesn’t need to work out all day as long as when they are in camp, they are going 100 percent. In the first few days Padres fans have seen intense catching drills, advanced bunting techniques and extended throwing drills. All this with just the pitchers and catchers reporting so far. Imagine how intense the training will get once all the position players report.
Green has already indicated that the Padres will play a brand of baseball where they put pressure on their opponent. If that means extensive infield shifts or bunting runners over and taking the extra bag, then I am all in for it. Win or lose the Padres will be playing the game the “correct” way and will be exciting to watch on an everyday basis.
The key to this whole philosophy is having the conducive players for this type of baseball. The team is currently evaluating that and will make changes they seem necessary. Buying into this style of baseball is tough. They will need to find unselfish players who play for the love of the game and ultimately to win.
Anyone who has heard Andy Green speak realizes that the man can be a great motivator. The issue will be how the team responds to his talk at a time in the season when they are going through a rough patch. In a 162 game season the Padres will surely have moments when the team is playing bad. How will Green react to this moments and more importantly how will the team respond to him?
The addition of Jon Jay will be excellent for the Padres. Jay plays exceptional defense and also provides speed on the base paths. He handles the bat really well and gets on base. Last years team was full of all or nothing type hitters who constantly struck out. Removing Jedd Gyorko and Justin Upton from the lineup and replacing them with players that make consistent contact we be a great thing for the Padres in 2016.
I would also expect Cory Spangenberg to be a favorite player of Andy Green. Spangenberg can play multiple positions and he has elite speed and has also shown a fearless attitude while on the base paths. Expect Spangenberg and Jay to be the catalyst on this new Green regime.
I am not naive enough to believe this team is World Series bound for the 2016 season. But I am also not ignorant enough to write the team off before they have even played one game. This team will compete, but the question is to what degree. If some more additions are made to this team and the franchise finds productive players then they could turn a few heads this season. Don’t give up yet Padres fans. This team has a fighting chance.