Tom Pringle (@PedroiasFace) will be covering the Padres during the season. His updates won’t be game-recaps, more like weekly or monthly recaps. If you don’t get the twist on words in the title, you’re dead to him.
I don’t need to explain the Padres offseason and Spring Training, we all know what’s happening. They are committed to the future and not making a push this season, call it rebuilding, call it tanking, call it whatever you want. The Padres won’t be very good. They aren’t holding back on hitting prospects though, which makes for a potentially exciting (if losing) season.
So they should cause a few upsets, right?
Here we go.
With the first four games out of the way the Padres currently hold a 1-3 record, had the bats turned up against Rich Hill (I know, it’s Rich Hill, but you never know) in game three then it maybe, just maybe could have been a 2-2 record.
Ultimately it was a majority of bad pitching and a little lack of hitting which hurt the Padres in their first few games of meaningful baseball.
What went wrong?
Jhoulys Chacin was chosen as the ace to go up against Clayton Kershaw (Who would want this?) and he was simply awful in his first outing. Having a pitching stat line of 3.1 IP, 9 ER (EARNED runs), 2 BB and 2 K. Ouch.
The bats didn’t support a solid outing from Cahill (5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K) in game three. Admittedly it was against Rich Hill, but still it was something that went wrong. Cahill was making his first start as a regular starter since 2013 (where he finished the year with a respectable 3.99 ERA) and looked pretty respectable until he was pulled. He should provide some good innings for the Padres.
Jared Weaver was still (as we all expected) throwing 84mph “fastballs” down the middle. Which Yasiel Puig was glad to send over the fences — twice — in game four.
Jankowski has not been good, at all.
What about the bullpen? Apart from Brad Hand closing out the Cahill victory, the bullpen has mainly been mopping up the mess from the starters. What about the all-rounder experiment? Let’s look at Bethancourt later.
What went right?
Ryan Schimpf did hit a HR off Kershaw, which helped prove wrong some of his doubters about last season. Hunter Renfroe got his first HR of the season against Rich Hill in a bid to give Cahill some support in game three.
Wil (The single L still annoys me) Myers has been hitting well, he really is the key to this lineup (hot take) and needs to stay consistent throughout the year (even hotter take). Lets hope it continues, not just for Padres fans, but for me to write about good things happening to this team.
But the big one for the Padres during these four games was Clayton Richard, who was absolutely fantastic, he shutout the Dodgers in game two. This not only gave the Padres a win, but also gave the bullpen a night off, allowing them to save at least one night on their arms. Another plus during this game was the only recognised Padres hitter who didn’t make it on base was Austin Hedges, hits a plenty.
What the tuck?
Go look up the HR trot from Solarte in the 3rd inning of game two. It was the fastest one I think I have ever seen, serious speed. Padres fans, if he does this normally, please let me know. Then I’ll stop mentioning it when he does it again.
The Great All-Rounder Experiment
I felt like Bethancourt needed his own section as it’s a big talking point for those watching the Padres this year. His Spring Training numbers were ok, but the Padres were committed to have him on the roster as a backup-backup catcher and a pitcher. It’s pretty much win-win especially if he can control the ball effectively.
Well, he’s not exactly shone in his first two outings. Two wild pitches in his first outing, then a home plate collision right after those wild balls, all in his first regular season outing as all-rounder Bethancourt. He stayed on the mound after the nasty collision and gave up three runs in that loss to the Dodgers.
I decided to watch all of his pitches in game four against the Dodgers last night, it wasn’t great. He’s still struggling for control and when utilising his breaking ball he has a noticeably different arm slot. However, his fastball speed is still mid to high 90s. Ultimately, he still looks like a position player pitching.
I live in hope of a true baseball all-rounder, but maybe I should switch my attention to Cincinnati for that other guy.
Bethancourt Stats: 1.2 IP | 3 H | 6 ER | 6 BB | 32.4 ERA
Until next time, here’s some numbers that I’ll keep updated for the year.
Stats: (Positions in brackets for all qualified players in MLB)
Win/Loss – 1-3 .250
Batt Avg. Leader – W. Myers .313 (Tied 56th)
OBP Leader – E. Aybar .462 (Tied 29th)
OPS Leader – E. Aybar .962 (52nd)
Starter ERA – C. Richard 0.00 (Tied 1st)
Strikeouts – T. Cahill (Tied 13th)
WHIP – C. Richard 0.88 (28th)
Batting AVG. – .198 (24th)
OBP – .244 (27th)
OPS – .586 (25th)
ERA (Starter) – 6.14 (27th)
ERA (Relievers) – 8.18 (28th)
Strikeouts – 27 (Tied 14th)
WHIP (Relievers) – 1.91 (28th)