Padres struggles lead to early season grumblings

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season is the most highly-anticipated season in the history of the San Diego Padres.

That is not an exaggeration.

Armed with a roster vastly superior to anything fans in San Diego have ever witnessed, the pre-season Padres looked like a lock to make the playoffs and do damage well into the postseason. Fast forward to the first four weeks of the season, and the Padres are an inconsistent mess toiling at around the .500 mark in the standings.

It is early. History dictates that there is still plenty of time to right the ship in a long major league season. The Padres managed to keep their head above water in staying at the .500 mark, and all is certainly not lost.

But do not tell that to the fans.

Local radio talk shows and social media are all over the Padres for their inability to play quality baseball in 2023. The offense was upgraded to be the heart and soul of the club, but they have been shut out five times through the first 27 games. That cannot happen. That kind of effort is what drives fans crazy.

Playing the game of baseball at the major league level is not easy. Peaks and valleys are part of a major league season. Bad streaks happen, and there are times when a team just does not play well over a 162-game span that last over seven months. The Padres are currently in the middle of such a streak.

It can be painful to watch, but it happens. Even to the most talented of teams.

With the exception of Xander Bogaerts, the lineup has done virtually nothing offensively. Juan Soto is hitting .183 on the season. Manny Machado is hitting .225, and Fernando Tatis Jr. is off to a .226 start to begin his 2023 season. It does not end there as Ha-Seong Kim is hitting .220, Austin Nola is hitting .145, and Trent Grisham is at a .189 mark. These kinds of numbers cannot continue. The law of baseball averages will kick in, and each player should enjoy a hot streak with the bat. But for now, the results speak for themself.

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Are the Padres guaranteed success moving forward? Is it just a matter of time?

Not necessarily.

The lack of offense from several players who are nowhere near their career numbers in the league is concerning. Again. The law of averages will take care of this, and an offensive explosion from most of these players is only a matter of time. The Padres are currently tied for last with the Royals with a .215 batting average as a team. That will improve. It has to improve. This lineup is too skilled for them to remain at the bottom of the league.

Health and suspensions had been an issue for the Padres to begin the season, as Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove both started the season at less than 100 percent. Fernando Tatis was in the minors finishing out his suspension for PED use. Adam Engel, Robert Suarez, and Drew Pomeranz have yet to play a game at the major league level. The team came into the season with a depleted roster, and those six men are important factors.

Manager Bob Melvin has plenty of time to get this roster into shape. The start of the 2023 season may get discouraging to Padres fans, but there is still plenty of time for the Friars to become the team most fans envisioned they could be. For now, expect more grumblings until the Padres turn it around. With a commitment to winning, there come expectations.

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