The 2015 San Diego Padres season was supposed to be the year the team established themselves as a perennial power house in the competitive National League West. Inconsistencies have plagued the team all year-long and the Padres currently sit eight games under .500 and 10.5 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers.
Losing six straight against the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies has been a rude awakening for the team. The team as usual, once momentum is gained, they give it right back. Championship teams do not play that way. The grind of a baseball season is rough enough, you cannot have success while battling consistency. A team must not get too high or too low, the Padres have been all over the place.
Consistency is truly what this team has lacked all season long. They can go out and skunk a team one night, then proceed to be shutout the next night. The offense has been shut out a league leading 15 times this season. No matter how good your pitching staff is, you need to score at least one run to win a ball game.
With the additions of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton the Padres were to have legit power hitters that demand respect. Both have played well from time to time, but each has also battled to perform on a daily basis. Those two sluggers are having one of their worst seasons (as far as batting average and on base percentage) in their careers. Each has hit well at Petco, so you cannot blame the ball park for their inadequacies at the plate. Find another excuse.
The pitching staff has also struggled at times. James Shields was brought in to steady the staff, but Shields has an ERA higher than he has posted in the last five seasons. Pitching in the easier National League should have Shields ERA lower than his average. He has also allowed 24 home runs so far this season which is way above his normal per season average. He has been rather mediocre.
There are numerous factors why the Padres have not succeeded this season. Defense is another issue that has let the team down this season. At time the outfield range this season has been abysmal. The management saw many positive things with this group, and also witnessed many puzzling things. Changes must be made and now that the team has fallen out of the race, it is time to focus on those changes.
If it means trading off some pieces then the Padres really have no choice. The clubs farm system is not very deep at the moment. The strength of the team is its current Major League talent. James Shields, Matt Kemp, Craig Kimbrel, Tyson Ross and Derek Norris are all signed long-term. Those nucleus type players could be attained by other teams, but the Padres must receive a decent haul in return.
The Padres season may be over, but fans should still be excited for the future of this team. Management is not happy with the current result and will make changes in order to secure a winning franchise. With the 2016 All-Star game here in San Diego next season, the Padres surely want a team that is playing well. Let’s just sit back and see what A.J. Preller and Padres management has up its sleeve.