Good morning, Padres fans. I’m sure you’re like me, experiencing after effects of that Rocky Mountain high we experienced this weekend. The Padres dropped 2 of 3 against the Rockies, losing yesterday 9-6, and in the process, lost their first series of this abbreviated “season.” The road gets no easier, as the Padres return to San Diego to take their measure against the most hated and vile L.A. Dodgers. The Padres will roll with the top of their rotation, sending our RHPs Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Garrett Richards. With that, here’s the news and notes for today:
- The team played in Colorado appearing flat for most of the weekend, failing to score much offense in a location that typically generates scores more appropriate with the gridiron. For their part, Padres hitters didn’t lose their offensive approach: averaging 4.12 pitches per plate appearance when they arrived in Colorado, they averaged 4.03 in the 3-game set. They also didn’t chase many pitches outside the zone: 20.1% in the seven games previous, and chased at a 23.6% rate in three games at Coors Field. “We’ve got to get back into getting ready to hit over the center (part) of the plate,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “We know if we can get on base, create pressure, eventually we’re going to crack through.” As a few folks noted last week, the Padres didn’t arrive in Denver until 0400 on Friday morning after the 10-inning comeback against the Giants Thursday night. Combined with the high altitude, with saps a player’s conditioning, that may have had an outsized impact in the team’s downturn, as Padres hitters simply didn’t cash in on the strikes thrown their way. (If the team’s already tired, that’s not a good sign; hopefully they can dial it back up against L.A. now that they’re back home)
- Fernando Tatis Jr. continues to impress. With his double in the 9th inning last night, FTJ remains the only Padres to have reached base in every game this season. Currently slashing .275/.383/.550, he also has at least one hit in eight of the Padres’ 10 games.
- Another player who impressed while in Colorado? INF Jake Cronenworth, who made his first 2 starts as a Padres in place of 1B Eric Hosmer. Despite only playing 1 game in the minors at 1B, Cro didn’t make an error in either of his 2 starts (17 innings played), and recorded 2 triples among his 3-6 overall performance against the Rockies. That performance brought Cro up to .400 on the season (small sample size, obvi, but I’m liking what I see so far from the rook).
- Speaking of Eric Hosmer, with the team placing him on the 10-day IL, the Padres selected RHP Jered Eickhoff to take Hosmer’s spot on the active roster. Eickhoff signed a minor league contract with the team in January, and he’s posted a 4.15 ERA over 440 innings with Philadelphia from 2015-19. The bulk of those innings came during a 2016 season that saw him deliver a 3.65 ERA over 197.1 innings. Multiple injuries curtailed his performance over the past three years, however, and the Phillies outrighted Eickhoff from their 40-man roster in November 2019. Eickhoff will now get a crack at reviving his career in a relief role for San Diego.
- In other roster moves, LHP Travis Radke and INFs Jason Vosler and Seth Mejias-Brean were added to the Padres’ player pool on Sunday. The trio completed intake testing over the previous two days and began working out at the team’s alternate training site at USD over the weekend. The team has now filled 57 of 60 available spots, giving them more bodies for their intrasquad games as well.
- The Padres are also preparing for a potential active roster trim. Right now, all MLB teams must cut their active rosters down from 30 down to 28 players by 9 a.m. Thursday. While there remains the possibility that rosters might remain at 30 in light of mass postponements of games, the Padres will likely remove 2 pitchers. Though that carries an additional risk: fewer pitchers in the bullpen and 17 games without a day off beginning Friday makes it imperative the starters work deeper in the majority of their games.
- The Padres will likely discuss the roster among other topics today, as manager Jayce Tingler previously said team decision-makers would evaluate this 60-game season in 10-game increments. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com takes his own look at the time, highlighting 10 observations. Cassavell notes several positives on the team, such as the play of LF Tommy Pham and CF Trent Grisham, while also noting the black hole of offense coming from the team’s catchers, Austin Hedges (mostly expected) and Francisco Mejia (not so expected), thereby preventing either player from seizing the lead catcher role from the other.
- For those of you hungry to know more about some potential future Padres, take a look at Madfriars.com. The site posted a rundown of the team’s six 2020 undrafted free agent signees: RHPs Carter Loewen from Hawaii, Chase Walter from Western Carolina, and LHP Danny Denz from Memphis. OF Michael Green comes from Clemson, C Adam Kerner is a local boy from the University of San Diego, while INF Zack Mathis joins the organization via the LSU Tigers. Of note, Kerner, Loewen and Walter were ranked among Baseball America’s Top 500 potential draftees. Unlike the drafted players that have an August 1, 2020 deadline to sign, teams can sign undrafted free agents until they return to school or seven days before the start of the 2021 draft. Head over to check out what Madfriars.com thinks about some of these kids.
That’s it for today. Let’s hope the boys get their mojo back.
GO PADRES!!!! BEAT L.A!!!!