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Mid Season Analysis

Sooo much to unpack here....  Here's the data:

OBP:   .308    T-23rd (with KC; 22nd = CWS @ .314;  >SF, Mia, Cincy in NL; <St. L next NL .320 = T-19th; 15th = Colo @ .326)

BA:     .243    T-22nd (with St L; 21st = Phil @ .244; >SF, Mia, Cincy in NL; = St. L; 15th = Wash @ .253)

Slug:   .430    T-17th (with TB; 16th = Wash @ .433; >SF, Mia, St L, Cincy, Phil, Pitt in NL; 15th = NY Mets @ .436)

BB:      235     24th     (23rd = SF @ 238; > Mia, Pitt in NL; 15th = Oakland @ 268)

K:        781     28th     (27th = Milw @ 765… but 310 BB = 5th, HR = 3rd!); WORST in NL; 15th = Mia @ 696)

HR:     121     10th

SB:        41     12th

R:        361     T-19th (with Pitt; > Mia, SF, Cincy, St L in NL; 15th = Milw @ 395)

 

Starting Pitchers:

ERA:    14th,     WHIP: 7th,       BB/9: 3rd,        K/9: 23rd,         HR/9:  14th

Relief Pitchers:

ERA:    23rd,     WHIP: 13th,     BB/9: 2nd,        K/9: 3rd,           HR/9:  24th

Next it makes sense to consider the "Help on the way":

SP:  Lamet, but may be offset by (IP) “loss” of Strahm.  Lamet COULD be exactly what Pads need:  a K heavy SP (area of weakness) replacing the faltering badly Strahm.   Garret Richards in Sept??

 LH RP:  J. Castillo, but also possibly Strahm as RP; real boost.  Can either of these guys approach what they did last year in pen?  Can Strahm avoid HR coming out of the pen with the workload already on his arm?

 LH CF capable “5th” OF:  Jankowski &/or Cordero.  Could definitely help.  A better roster fit than Naylor right now.  Naylor would benefit from more playing time in AAA.

2B:  Urias.  "Soon", but % difference > Kinsler/(Garcia)?  I'm getting a little worried about the overall handling of Urias; feels like the signing of Kinsler + utter refusal to try to go with only 7 RP due to young SP and BAD/unreliable RP simply block him.  Yes, he's "struggling" recently... but he's been in AAA for a 1.5 years+.  I would really like to see Pads move forward with Urias soon

Formatting issues?  sorry

While Padres may get exactly what it seems like they need on the Pitching front: An elite K heavy SP (Lamet?)  and 1 good late inning RP (Andres Munoz?  Strahm?)...

... I don't see where/how they get the MASSIVE drop in K’s  (Myers & Hedges the big offenders here & have lost playing time as a result) & increase in BB & OBP from the offense to be a real playoff contenderTatis has been ridiculous but is it sustainable?, Hosmer & Machado are at or above career averages & not far off from career best seasons offensively, Renfroe & Reyes have broken out as elite power sources (THEIR K's are acceptable!), even Kinsler/Garcia platoon has been decent since May...  have to parse out the "issues", but a lot of it is simply youth & finding the best lineup; can see the progress being made.

Did hear team had 7th? best OBP over some stretch, might have been all of June?

Healthy team projects to be playing meaningful games in Sept, but with the young offense & SP’s maybe asking too much?

 

Maybe not the way the national types forecasted the Padres to play but the end result is about on target ... with a 78 win season being the projection zone ... their current winning percentage would get the about 80 wins.

The season started with the pitching being better than expected but the offense worse with slow starts by Machado, Kinsler, and others then the missing month of Tatis. By the time the offense kicked into gear in June (and it was much better) the pitching collapsed. I guess that is the story of .500 teams.

Can't fix everything in a short burst and have to deal around the better parts of what a team has (and expects to have arrive) ... so:

Unless a deal is out there for a long control / top of the rotation SP that does not cost the key prospects (not likely) ... I could gamble with the current SP under control. Lucchesi and Lauer (except for COLO) have been decent middle of the rotation arms ... Paddack his shown the ML skills and just needs to develop the innings stamina. Then have to see what they get out of Richards / Lamet for potential top of the rotation skills and I would not rule out Gore at some point in 2020 stepping into that role (the next Kershaw). That group is 6 and allows for more development time / options with Strahm (maybe a SP maybe a better RP), Allen, and Quantrill.

It is the RP that worries me ... Yates (if he is not traded) then some wishing and hoping to ferret out 7 other effective arms. Potential yes for some but anyone to really rely upon at this point?

Offensively they need better OBP and an additional impact LHH (probably OF) to balance the line-up and work the RHP. Hopefully Mejia can provide some help out of the catchers slot (and maybe A.Allen at the expense of the quickly fading Hedges). Problem here is actually finding a LHH impact OF that can be acquired ... not seeing it ... and Naylor has not shown ML readiness plus who know when (if) Cordero is return and produce. Problem.

Don't really have a set of trade targets that do the trick for 2020 other than tinkering at the fringe. However, weeding out the weaker might be a start ... Hedges has to go and run with Mejia / A.Allen would lengthen the line-up for every game. Naylor has to be optioned but not sure Jankowski will be better but at least he will add some bench defense and historically has down better vs. RHP (not so much vs. RHP) and COULD make a decent platoon with Margot (who has be decent in June).  No idea what they do with Myers but if OBP is an area for improvement .... think moving Renfroe (maybe at his highest value) might be the play (depending on the return).

Padres have the basics to compete in 2020 but filling in those weak spots seems more difficult that I would like.

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As for Urias, beginning to sense that they are seeing (even in AAA) Urias having some difficulty in hitting velocity and are trying to modify his approach to offset that (not sure how successfully). That looked to me as an issue when he was up before. That is something that if you see it ... no need to over expose it in the ML. Maybe Urias becomes a trade chip? Also, some hype on his defense as a SS which could add to his trade potential or his ultimate role in 2020 as the RH reserve INF as the portion player roster moves to 13.

As for Urias, beginning to sense that they are seeing (even in AAA) Urias having some difficulty in hitting velocity and are trying to modify his approach to offset that (not sure how successfully). That looked to me as an issue when he was up before. That is something that if you see it ... no need to over expose it in the ML. Maybe Urias becomes a trade chip? Also, some hype on his defense as a SS which could add to his trade potential or his ultimate role in 2020 as the RH reserve INF as the portion player roster moves to 13.

FENN, you've mentioned this before... where are you getting this from?  Urias'  rep coming up was that he was one of the best FB hitters Madfriars guys had ever seen in our system?   Has this changed as he's trying for more power?  Also, AAA doesn't seem like the landing ground for a lot of high velo guys; esp SP's... usually more concentrated in AA... my thought would be that it's more crafty veteran 4 pitch guys getting him out with their offspeed stuff?  But I don't know.  He clearly hadn't found his swing/timing  yet in ST/brief stint with Pads in April.

FENN or anyone have insight on this?  I fully acknowledge that the DIFFERENCE Urias makes relative to a Kinsler (May on) / Garcia platoon isn't that much... initially.  BUT really good Union Trib writeup about Kinsler:  He literally can NOT hit velocity at all anymore, but is succeeding to extent he is by being extremely selective.  So it seems like a similarly good eye/selective hitter like Urias if he CAN handle velocity at all would be a big upgrade in the long run.

"Parsing" the data on who/where are the issues for Pads offensively, not overly surprising:

  • Myers & Hedges are THE "K" issues at 35.7% and 33.2% respectively.  Neither, especially Hedges hits for enough power (XBH) to justify anything close to these K rates.  Reyes & Renfroe are in 26-27% range which is fine given their power & slightly improving BB (i.e. "respect") rates.  Tatis is next worse close to 30%.  SO productive it's tough to quibble with, but I'm personally skeptical he can sustain .330/.400 all season with a 30% K rate.
  • Hedges, Kinsler, & Margot are THE "BB" issues at 5.5% - 6.5% range WAY too low; especially for Margot wasting his speed not getting on base.  Garcia is best at 10.8%.  Machado (also one of lowest K rates; impressive- since it was high in early going), Tatis, & Myers are in the 9-10% range.

Myers' career K/PA rate before this year was around 25%, suggesting that there's something wrong with his swing.   Hedges before this year was 28-29%, so more likely just "who he is".

Let Mejia play continue to play more & show what he can do offensively.  Let Myers start at least till Jankowski gets back to see if he "found" that elusive swing in his side work.  Bring Urias up after the break and see if he's part of the solution going forward.