2013: 76-86, 3rd in NL West
As is typical for San Diego, the Padres have a great pitching staff and a not-so-great offense to accompany it. Their lineup has potential, but so far the offense core of the team in first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, shortstop Everth Cabrera, and third baseman Chase Headley have failed both collectively and individually. Headley was the NL’s RBI leader just two years ago but doesn’t look like the same hitter. Gyorko, Alonso, and catcher Yasmani Grandal are still trying to prove they deserve everyday jobs in the big leagues. Will Venable doesn’t, at least not the way he’s played this year. The only regulars in the lineup that are hitting are veteran Chris Denorfia in right field and newcomer Seth Smith in left. Smith has single-handedly carried the Padres offense, getting on base and just generally being extremely efficient. The trade for him raised some eyebrows as the Pads had to give up shutdown reliever Luke Gregerson to Oakland but it has turned out to be a worthwhile move.
Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, and Andrew Cashner make up the core of a pretty young rotation. In Kennedy, the Padres acquired a former ace who had fallen on hard times. He hasn’t been the pitcher he was during a breakout 2011 season, but he can eat innings and strike guys out. The young, oft-injured Cashner found himself on the DL again in May 2014, but when he’s out there, he’s electrifying. Tim Stauffer can be used in the rotation or bullpen, and Dale Thayer, Joaquin Benoit, Nick Vincent, and Alex Torres comprises one of the best bullpens in the league, as San Diego has become accustomed to having. Huston Street is perhaps the most underrated closer in the game; these guys rarely lose leads. They play at beautiful Petco Park in downtown San Diego, one of the most affordable and family-friendly modern ballparks in baseball. The Padres last made the playoffs in 2006 although they came just one game away in 2010 and always have the pitching to get them there in a given year. Gold Coast Tickets can hook you up with the best selection on Padres tickets!