The San Diego Padres will take on the Philadelphia Phillies in a three game set at Petco Park. After a season with highs and lows, excitement and disappointment, the Padres now have an identity. When the season started, fans were very confused as to what the plan was for this team. Well the 2016 trade deadline sure helped us figure out the identity of this team.
The Padres are now in full rebuilding mode. They have been the most aggressive sellers of the 2016 season and have received some nice prospects in return. This is a phase which both the Padres and Phillies are currently in. This series will be a battle between two of the most unrecognizable rosters in baseball.
We should still be in for some competitive games in this series. The Padres are coming off a very nice series against the Brewers in which the offense manged to score 21 runs. That is definitely impressive for this revamped offense considering they faced guys like Zach Davies and Junior Guerra.
The Padres will definitely not have it easy in this series. The Phillies actually have quite a nice team with some young players with very high potentials. They are also coming off a great series in which they won two out of three games from the San Francisco Giants. To add to it the Phillies edged the Padres earlier this season taking three out of four games at Citizens Bank Park. This should definitely be an action packed series with a lot to look out for.
I really believe we will see some nice pitching in this series. The Phillies will come in with some pretty underrated guys who are capable of throwing some gems at Petco Park. The Padres will also come in with some decent pitchers who have shown that they can be effective. The first matchup will bring forth the two guys you have probably already heard of. The Phillies will have 2011 rookie of the year, Jeremy Hellickson on the mound. Hellickson is definitely not close to the potential many had him being at. But he is still a solid pitcher who is capable of throwing a good game against the Padres. “Hell Boy” has manged to go undefeated in his last three starts with a minuscule ERA of 1.83. He can definitely prove to be a threat to this Padres lineup. Especially with someone as inconsistent as Christian Friedrich on the mound. Friedrich actually had a very solid start his last time out. He would throw five innings and only allow a run against the Reds. Even with a start like that his numbers in his last three starts are not good. Friedrich has gone win-less in his last three starts with an ERA of 5.65. Safe to say that the Phillies may have an edge in the first game of the series.
The second game of the series will bring another very interesting matchup. We will see the debut of another highly touted prospect at Petco Park. This last series we witnessed the debut of Orlando Arcia for the Brewers. Well on Saturday we will see the debut of the top Phillies pitching prospect, Jake Thompson. Thompson has definitely looked solid at the Triple-A level as he has held a nice ERA of 2.50 in 21 starts. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how Thompson can do against this San Diego Padres lineup. In all honesty with all the factors in place, I can see Thompson having a successful MLB debut. Paul Clemens is another Padres pitcher who has looked off in his recent starts. In his last start he would actually look solid until lower-back tightness would cut his start short. Clemens has not has good numbers in his last two starts as he has gone win less with an ERA of 4.66. The Padres and Clemens may be in for quite the challenge against Jake Thompson and the Phils on Saturday.
The final game of the series will bring another strong matchup. Jerad vs Jerred should be quite the show. Jerad Eickhoff has actually been very solid for the Phillies this season. His last start would be cut short due to rain. But he would pitch five scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves. The Padres themselves will have another guy nambed Jarred who’s last start would be cut short. Jarred Cosart’s first start as a Friar would be cut short due to a blister on his right thumb. Cosart would actually look solid as he would throw three and a third scoreless innings. I definitely think Cosart is capable of throwing a solid game for the Padres on Sunday afternoon. We should be due for some solid pitching throughout this series. We may not have the most household names going at it, but there is potential present. Be sure to tune in to this series to see for yourselves.
Players to Watch
The Phillies may have an all-star in Obdubel Herrera but there best player is definitely Maikel Franco. Franco had a very nice campaign with a decent BA of .266. At his young age of 23 he leads the Phillies in homers with 20 and in RBI with 66. Franco definitely has loads of talent to offer. Another big factor which can prove to be crucial is that he will face a lefty in this series in Christian Friedrich. Franco has done extremely well against left-handed pitchers this season with a BA over .300 and an OPS over .900. I expect at least one home run from Franco in this series. I also expect quite the series from the young man.
Solarte really has been one of the more underrated players this season. Not even Padres fans seem to mention him all that often. Well Solarte has been having a great 2016 season with a very nice BA of .294. The second highest on the team just behind Jon Jay. Solarte also has a surprisingly high OPS of .865 on the year. After all the trades he is also now third on the Padres home run list with 11. Solarte is definitely always capable of demonstrating his talent in each game. This last series against the Brewers was pretty successful as he would go 5-14 with five RBI. I believe Solarte will have another nice series this weekend at Petco Park.
This Padres season has been more about opportunity than anything else. We saw it since the very beginning of the baseball year. The Padres took a chance with Fernando Rodney as their close, look how it paid off. The Padres also took a chance with Drew Pomeranz, look at him he’s now on the Red Sox. I mean this season has all been about untapped potential about diamonds in the rough. Look at Ryan Schimpf for instance, he now has the highest OPS on the team at .910. We also saw it when they traded Melvin Upton Jr. and gave Alex Dickerson a shot. Well it appears that the time has come for Jabari Blash. Blash always seemed to be one of those players who would have a great impact this season since spring training. Well it really did not work out that way as he received limited playing time and was then DFA’d. Well since then he has returned to the Padres and has grinded it out in El Paso. After several trades and a few injuries Blash is now starting for the Padres. Blash would definitely showcase some of that potential in the Brewers series. He would go 3-9 in the series with, two walks and a home run. I believe that Blash can bring something to this team. Hopefully he can continue to show it in this next series. Hopefully the Padres can have a successful series as well. Go Padres!