Padres News: Quantifying the Padres Early Season Offensive Struggles

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Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Just ten games into the 2016 season, it’s been a bit of a rough start for the San Diego Padres. Through ten games the team sits at 3-7, and have been shut out in five of those ten games. The pitching staff has been good enough, but the Padres offense has gone quiet.

After an opening series sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers, one in which the Padres scored zero runs, the Padres went to Colorado and scored 32 runs, including 29 runs in the first two games.

Since the Padres 16 run outburst on April 9th, the Padres have scored only eight runs over the last five games, including two shut outs against the Phillies. After the dominant 16 strikeout, shut out performance from Vincent Velasquez against the Padres on Thursday, it’s pretty clear that the Padres offense has a lot of problems.

While a few Padres hitters have performed decently, a vast majority of the team has struggled mightily to this point in the season. Overall, the Padres offense looks completely lost as a team. They have been unable to string together hits, have failed to capitalize on run scoring opportunities, and have been prone to strikeouts. All of these things were no more apparent than they were on Thursday after the complete game shut out from Velasquez.

For a better understanding of how poor the Padres offense has been, taking a look at the individual performance of each starter is prudent.

Jon Jay– 10 games, 44 plate appearances, .244/.295/.317, 71 wRC+

Cory Spangenberg– 10 games, 42 plate appearances, .184 /.262/.342, 67 wRC+

Matt Kemp– 9 games, 37 plate appearances, .297/.297/.541, 125 wRC+

Wil Myers– 10 games, 40 plate appearances, .211/.225/.368, 58 wRC+

Melvin Upton Jr.– 10 games, 33 plate appearances, .267/.333/.400, 103 wRC+

Derek Norris– 9 games, 33 plate appearances, .133/.212/.200, 19 wRC+

Alexei Ramirez– 10 games, 36 plate appearances, .176/.222/.176, 15 wRC+

Among the Padres regular starters, only Melvin Upton and Matt Kemp have hit above average to this point, which seems fitting given their place as the two most expensive Padres regulars. Aside from them, every other player is below league average according to wRC+, with just under half of these players hitting below the Mendoza line. It’s clear that Derek Norris and Alexei Ramirez have struggled the most, collecting only 10 hits between them in 69 plate appearances. All in all, most of the Padres offense has been well below average, with a few of the players among the worst in the league offensively to this point in the season.

The Padres offense gets even more interesting when you put in the performance of the injured Yangervis Solarte, and his replacement in Alexi Amarista.

Yangervis Solarte– 5 games, 19 plate appearances, .375/.474/.563, 181 wRC+

Alexi Amarista– 4 games, 13 plate appearances, .455/.500/.455, 167 wRC+

Before his injury, Yangervis Solarte was easily the Padres most productive hitter over the first five games of the season. Since his injury, his replacement Alexi Amarista has been the most productive Padre hitter. Obviously these are extremely small sample sizes, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where a guy like Alexi Amarista should be the best hitter in a series played against the Philadelphia Phillies. His performance is clearly unsustainable, but still quite surprising nevertheless.

This isn’t meant to be a doom and gloom sort of article. The Padres offense has been so dreadful to this point in the season that there is extra room for improvement. Guys like Derek Norris and Alexei Ramirez won’t continue hitting under .200, and players like Wil Myers and Jon Jay should improve as well. The Padres offense won’t be anything to write home about this season, but there’s little chance it will continue to be this poor. The return of Yangervis Solarte should certainly help.

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