The 2019 season has not gone as planned for the San Diego Padres, but there is still time to show progression for this young unit.
The fans, the national media. Everyone. We have all heard the hype surrounding the San Diego Padres.
With one of the most profound farm systems in recent baseball memory, the Padres are poised to become a very relevant team in major league baseball.
The construction of a successful professional baseball team is not an exact science, though. It takes some luck, and it takes a lot of players pulling on that same proverbial rope. The whole 40-man roster must play together, and they must play as a cohesive group with the same focus and goal.
In 2019, there were naturally high expectations for the Padres, as several of their talented young prospects made it to the major league level. Chris Paddack, Fernando Tatis Jr., Andres Munoz, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon Logan Allen, Pedro Avila, and Cal Quantrill all debuted this season for the Padres. With youth, there comes a lot of hope and uncertainty. The Padres have seen positives from all these men, but there have also been growing pains.
Manager Andy Green is under the most amount of pressure he has ever been under as the manager of this group. He has admittedly made mistakes with the bullpen and his young staff this season. At one time, the Padres were hovering around the .500 mark, and there was the talk of competing for an NL Wild Card. After a dismal start to the second half, this team is just hoping to end the season with a winning record.
There is time to get back into the playoff picture for the Padres, but innings limitations with some of their key pitchers will handicap the team. There is no way around that. Chris Paddack will be shut down soon. Garrett Richards has a sore shoulder and is coming back from Tommy John surgery. Pushing Dinelson Lamet too far would not be smart. The team must be cautious with their pitching.
Currently eight games under .500 and attempting to stay out of last place, the Padres need to do better. There is no way around that. Changes may need to be made to secure the goal of a franchise championship ultimately. Now is undoubtedly the time for evaluation.
The type of baseball the Padres have shown the fans in 2019 is very exciting. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a human highlight reel. He is worth the price of admission by himself. The team will need to build around his talent. In recent years, the Friars have made a significant commitment to winning. Between paying international talent and free agents, the Padres are certainly committed to winning.
If the season ended today, the Padres would secure the ninth overall pick. That is not what the organization envisioned when the team started play in Peoria this February. They built this team to progress year after year and show what it takes to get to the next level. At this point, the Padres are taking two steps forward and two steps back each month, and that is not good. Treading water and finishing in the middle of the pack will only cripple this franchise.
They need to make the playoffs. Eventually. The ship for 2019 may have sailed, but if the Padres are not careful, they could cripple the franchise beyond this year. Progression must be had from this young team in these final 48 games. Jobs are on the line. Futures are at risk. The Padres must play better and gain momentum heading into the winter.