San Diego Padres’ New Year’s resolutions for 2020

Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It is 2020, and here are the San Diego Padres’ New Year’s resolutions. 

As the calendar flips to 2020, there is an opportunity to assess what we have struggled with and make New Year’s resolutions to be better in 2020. The San Diego Padres should be no different heading into the new season. There is certainly room for improvement off of this year’s 70-92 record, and it starts with the basics.

The first thing the Padres need to work on is striking out less and putting the ball more in play. In 5,391 at-bats, Padres’ hitters struck out 1,581 times. That is a 29% strikeout rate, which means there was at least strikeout every inning. Only the Detroit Tigers, who had the worst record in the MLB, struck out more.

Although that mentality of a strikeout is just another out might be true, it is very misleading. If a batter fails to put the ball in play, there can’t be an error, runners can’t move up, and the batter can’t get a hit. If the Padres can put the ball in play more and strikeout less in 2020, they can surely win more.

The second New Year’s resolution for the San Diego Padres is for their starting pitchers to have more longevity during a game. Padres’ starters averaged five innings per start, which was 21st in MLB. Although starters don’t need to pitch six or more innings, it certainly helps.

If the starters go deeper into games, the bullpen will be less taxed when long road trips and September come. This may not be the most important resolution, but a strong rotation is crucial to being a contender. The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, who were the two teams in the World Series, were 2nd and 4th in innings per start in 2019.

The third New Year’s resolution for the Friars is to win more rubber matches in three-game series. After starting 2-0 in such rubber matches, the San Diego Padres would lose 10 of their last 11 rubber matches. It is critical to win these matches because the clubhouse moral is different following a series win compared to a series loss. These losses add up, and you must capitalize when a series is on the line.

The final San Diego Padres’ New Year’s resolution is to limit the errors. Last year’s 116 errors were the 5th most in the league. This is unacceptable and can’t happen if the Friars are serious about competing for a playoff spot in 2020. Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Fernando Tatis Jr. are all very capable fielders, but all had 14 errors or more. The competition in MLB is too good to give away free outs and extend innings. Thus errors must be cut down in 2020.

It will be very interesting to see how the newly acquired players and new coaching staff work to fix these issues from 2019. The 2020 season has the potential to be an exciting year for the San Diego Padres. Happy New Year, Friar Faithful.

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Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Freshman at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was formerly a Staff Writer for Pulse Magazine, writing about the Padres, the MLB, and the NFL.

10 thoughts on “San Diego Padres’ New Year’s resolutions for 2020

  1. Very excited for ST! Really wished AJ would have signed an ace or at least another veteran SP but am glad he did not trade our can’t miss Prospects (Gore, Patino, Abrams, Capansano or Mejia). Looking forward to see them in ST! Lamet and Franchey are going to be the game changers! If they stay healthy and play up to their potential, the rest of the team will help us to a .500 season! We still need to sign Kirby to an extension. Go Pads!

  2. Tommy Pham will take care of the rubber matches in the 3rd resolution…he not just a winner he refuses to lose and won’t rep a team that has a weak sense of resilience.

  3. The first resolution you have to say was the focus of the offseason. On base and players who have shown plate discipline. Grisham, Profar, Pham, Cronenworth. Time will tell is what Jayce said in his interviews is what’s happens. Fundamentals and discipline. Hopefully ST will be the first glimpse into practicing what he preaches.

    The second resolution by nature will be addressed with pitchers that will be able to throw more innings. Chris Paddack (26/140 inn) will have his TJS officially behind him regarding limits. 180 inns are possible. Garrett Richards is just projected for 72 inns, but have to think if they don’t get 120 to 140inn it would be disappointing. Dinelson Lamet (14/73 inns) will all be in that 140 inn range like Chris was last season. Joey Lucchesi (30/163 inn) lack of progressing is a large part of why Andy was fired. Zac Davies (31/160 inn) has made 28+ starts 3 of the last 4 seasons. Cal Quantrill (18/103 inn) will be expected to make 30 starts in 2020. That still leaves MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, Ronald Bolanos as X factors. To think the Padres ranked 21st with the rotation below is pretty impressive.

    Lucchesi. 163 inn
    Lauer 150 inn
    Paddack 140 inn
    Strahm. 114 inn
    Quantrill 103 inn

    The third resolution is fixed with resolution 1 and 2 plus a better bullpen. Pomeranz is an upgrade. Jose Castillo coming back for a full season is an upgrade. Gerardo Reyes has been nails this offseason. Pierce Johnson is this years reclamation project, Munoz, and Yates is still here. Think this will improve. One thing many could have missed is they way the escalators are written into Drew’s 4 year deal. He has bonuses for starts and inns pitched. Pomeranz spot starting isn’t out of the question.

    The final one I think is the most important. Which ties into the first one. Discipline.

    1. I agree, the acquisitions and player progressions should lead to getting on base more and extended starts in 2020. However, projections don’t mean anything until they step on the field and get it done. The bullpen should be elite, and that’ll help. High hopes for sure.

  4. How about these?:
    1) To come to camp in better shape, and stay healthy over the long season. The team really suffered when Tatis was hurt, for instance.
    2) To stay mentally tough. That means not giving up, or making mental errors. Part of the second half swoon was players (thinking of Machado), and the manager, just phoning it in.
    3) To play the best players, not the biggest contracts. If a player can’t hit, he should sit. (possible exception for Austin Hedges). So when facing RHP Margot should not be out there, and when facing LHP Hosmer shouldn’t even be allowed to suit up.

    1. Health was definitely considered. I ultimately opted to not include it. I think the mentality will be like it always is coming into the season, and it was only bad in the 2nd half because of losses. I like the third idea.

  5. There’s definitely room for improvement. The resolutions really targeted key areas of improvement. I’m planning on going to more games this year. Over the past couple of years I’ve seen a vast improvement in the staff working behind the seams. I highly endorse the positive directions they are working towards.

      1. Well, we’re not getting an ace this year. Preller has already passed the word that the team is going with in-house pitching options in the rotation. There might not be an ace there -yet- but Paddack should be a strong #2, and Lamet and Richards should also be close.

        Lucchesi and Davies as innings eaters should make for a pretty decent rotation – until Lamet and Richards approach innings limits. Then we’ll be looking at Quantrill, Baez, Morejon, and a late callup of Gore to pitch innings. I agree, the ‘pen will be elite, and will have to be consistent.

        As for bats, we’ll have to hope Hosmer improves, and the untradable Wil Myers can be motivated by Tingler and the coaches. A 2016 Wil Myers (3.5 WAR) is just the bat the Padres need, but we can’t be sure which Myers shows up in February, or what effect the coaches have on him during ST.

        That’s the ace and bat on this team. Three potential #2 starters, all of whom have had TJ surgery, and a reclaimed bat who was benched last year for the first time in his career, and has been on the trading block the last two years – with no takers. It’s probably too late to do anything but hope it all works out. Ever the optimist, I think it will.

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