2012 San Diego Padres Season Preview
Having issues in close games in 2011 – 20-31 in one-run games and 4-12 in games that stretched into extra innings, the San Diego Padres know they aren’t far behind the National League curve. A couple key additions in the offseason for manager Bud Black and the Padres believe they’re in a position to compete with the rest of the NL West for the right to play into October. Joining the bullpen this season is former Texas Longhorn closer Huston Steet, acquired via trade with the Colorado Rockies. The 2005 Rookie of the Year has had his issues with injuries over his seven-year career, but has still managed to pick up 178 saves with a 3.11 ERA. Andrew Cashner will also be joining the relief corps this year, coming over in a trade from the Cubs that sent first baseman Anthony Rizzo to Wrigley. A strong bullpen will be key in picking up the close wins the Padres left on the table in 2011. Carlos Quentin was the big offseason pick up on offense, coming over in a deal that sent two prospects to the White Sox In exchange for the 29-year old left fielder. Quentin averages over 27 HRs a season and was selected for his second all-star game in 2011, joining a squad that came in last in batting average and second-to-last in runs scored in the National League. The offense will need to come alive in 2012, with Black needing big contributions from outfielders Cameron Maybin and Will Venable as well as Yonder Alonso in his first full season as a starter. Coming to Petco Park in the deal that sent all-star starter Mat Latos to Cincinnati, Alonso hit .330 in limited action in 2011 and the Padres hope to see that success strung out throughout the 2012 campaign.
2011 San Diego Padres Season Preview
After stumbling down the stretch in 2010, the San Diego Padres are looking to make this a year where they can finally claim their first NL West crown since 2006. It’s going to be tough, however, since their one big gun – former first baseman Adrian Gonzalez – is 3000 miles away hitting bombs for the Red Sox. Like the San Francisco Giants, the Padres are going to try to make a playoff push use their pitching staff that includes up-and-coming studs like Mat Latos and Clayton Richard. Former Cinicnnati Red Aaron Harang was brought in during the offseason to shore up their rotation and leave the game manageable for their All-Star reliever Heath Bell, once he returns from the DL. As with most National League West teams, hitting is a major issue that the Padres tried to correct with their off-season acquisitions Jorge Cantu, Orlando Hudson, Brad Hawpe and Ryan Ludwick. Whether or not those additions are enough to overcome being 28th in batting average, 23rd in OBP or 28th in Slugging Percentage will remain to be seen.
2010 San Diego Padres Season Preview
With a temperate breeze and a bright sun, just about every day is a good day to watch the San Diego Padres slug it out at PETCO Park in an effort to be recognized as a serious threat for a National League West title in 2010. But while the weather might be nice in southern California, does the team have what it takes this year to seriously compete in their division? First baseman and face of the Padres franchise, Adrian Gonzalez, will be itching to show that they do. The two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Winner has made himself a household name over the past few seasons, belting at least 30 homeruns in each of the last three years. In 2010, Gonzalez will be helped out with a little extra fire power in the lineup with the promotion of rookie outfielder Kyle Blanks. The hulking prospect caught fans' attention last season after hitting about one homerun for every plate appearance. If Blanks and Gonzalez can help the Padres put enough runs on the board and get the ball to closer Health Bell in the 9th inning, there's no saying where the ceiling is for the 2010 San Diego Padres.
2009 San Diego Padres Season Preview
There is a lot to like about the San Diego Padres heading into the 2009 baseball season. The Padres play in a beautiful ballpark, Petco Park, in a gorgeous city…and their team is really talented as well. The key for San Diego Manager Bud Black will be to get the Pads pitching staff mowing down opponents, while also getting some timely hitting. If pitchers Jake Peavy and Chris Young do their part, and players David Eckstein and Brian Giles do theirs - then watch out for the San Diego Padres in 2009.
2008 San Diego Padres Season Preview
The San Diego Padres are one of the top teams to watch in the NL West this season. The Padres missed the playoffs by only one game in 2007, losing to the Milwaukee Brewers after former Padres great Tony Gwynne's son tripled and tied the game allowing Milwaukee to go on to win and take the Wild Card spot for the National League. This season Sand Diego plans to keep up their outstanding play throughout the season and make a big run come playoff time. Thousands will fill beautiful new PETCO Park this season to watch the Padres fight for a division title and hopefully a pennant.