Baseball’s finally back. I’m just as happy as you are to have our Padres back in action and playing (somewhat) meaningful games again. After a week of action our Padres are currently 3-4, good for 4th place (NOT LAST, that belongs to the lol Giants) in the NL West and 3 games behind surprising first place Arizona. There’s definitely more to the story than just standings, however. What have we learned about our Padres in the extremely small sample size of one week of games?
Manuel Margot - All-Star
Can you blame me for being overtly optimistic on our rookie center fielder? Manny has had himself a week so far, most notably mashing two home runs in the Padres home opener. The bombs surprised even Margot, who can make contact but is not noted as having power. Manny’s defense has played well in center field, allowing Jankowski to play left and Margot to shade right to assist Hunter Renfroe. As part of the first wave of the youth movement (and rebuild) for the Padres, Manuel Margot has flashed real promise in this week-long sample size.
.286 average, 2 HR, 4 RBI.
Austin Hedges - All Defense, No Bat
In the course of a week’s action, it’s easy to say that defensive wunderkind Austin Hedges can’t hit. He’s yet to pick up an actual hit this season: his sole RBI was off a sacrifice squeeze bunt. To say that Austin will never hit is a bit of hyperbole. Hedges has proven he can swing the lumber: last season’s campaign with (notably hitter-friendly) El Paso provided evidence (.326 average, 21 HRs). That particular progress has yet to translate to this season. Austin can catch, however. His efforts behind the dish have been as advertised; he’s currently 2nd in MLB at framing. We’ll see if Hedgehog can pick up his first hit in this week’s slate of games, especially with a series in Colorado.
.000 average, 1 RBI
Yangervis Solarte - Leading The Team
As the veteran of our Padres squad, Yangervis is doing his part to lead the team in more than just enthusiasm for the game. Soly leads the Padres in batting average (.370), hits (10), RBIs (8), on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.667), and OPS (1.080). In an unexpected role at second base Solarte has done well enough so far, possessing a clean fielding percentage. While it remains to be seen whether Solarte will remain at 2nd for the season (or with the Padres at all), Yangervis is definitely a Padre to watch.
.370 average, 2 HR, 8 RBI
Around The Rest Of The Horn
Face of the franchise Wil Myers is healthy and is doing his job at the dish (.300 average, 2 HR, 5 RBI) while manning 1st just fine. Ryan Schimpf has improved at drawing walks (leads team with 6 BB) and can still hammer the ball (1 HR against Clayton Kershaw in the opener) but hasn’t been consistent at putting the ball in play. Hunter Renfroe can also hammer baseballs (1 HR) and is armed with a cannon in right field but still draws some worry regarding his ability to take walks and avoiding the easy K. Travis Jankowski still has wheels and can play defense but hasn’t contributed much at the plate. The combination of Erick Aybar and Luis Sardinas at shortstop has been serviceable so far.
Pitching: The Good, The Bad, The Tank
Good: Clayton Richard currently leads the team in ERA (2.57), WHIP (1.07) and batting average against (.208) with his low arm slot and sinker-heavy approach. Clayton had himself a game against the Dodgers in his season debut, almost going the distance in an 8-inning shutout. While many peg Richard to regress (Sunday’s game against San Francisco wasn’t great), it’s promising to see Richard perform well. Luis Perdomo has also shown some progress, even if his performance in the home opener against the Giants started strong and ended with a slam.
In the bullpen, the emergence of Miguel Diaz and Jose Torres is worth noting. Have you seen that GIF of Diaz’s two seamer? Nasty. The bullpen is a definite strength for this Padres team with good performances this week from Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter and Brad Hand. The question of who will remain with the team and who will be offered up as trade bait will be a hard one to answer for Padres fans this season.
The Bad: Jhoulys Chacin did not make the most of his Opening Day start and currently leads the team in hits and runs allowed despite a turnaround start against the Giants.
The Tank: Jered Weaver. Also, the Christian Bethancourt experiment is off to a rocky start.
What have you learned about the Padres in this first week of baseball? What are you looking forward to?