NL West Preview: San Diego Padres

Ryan Gaydos@@RyanGaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2009

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 24:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the San Diego Padres poses during photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 24, 2009 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The San Diego Padres has a disappointing season last year only managing 63 wins last year after an 89 win year the season before. This year could be the year things start to change for San Diego and it starts with the pitching rotation.

Jake Peavy will lead the Padres on the staff that includes Chris Young (7-6, 3.96 ERA) and Korean Cha Seung Baek (6-9, 4.62 ERA). A couple of new comers Josh Greer and Wade LeBlanc. Young needs to stay healthy for this team to do well.

The Padres also bring in Mark Worrell from St. Louis to help them in the bullpen. They lost all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman to the Brewers and might have to rely on Heath Bell or Cla Meredith to help them close out games.

Adrian Gonzalez leads the lineup with 36 homers and 119 RBIs. They lost Khalil Greene at short and replacing him is Luis Rodriguez who does not have a lot of Major League experience. Brian Giles returns to the outfield as well as Chase Headley.

Keep an eye on: Heath Bell, rp

Stepping into the closer void left by Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. He did not have one save last year and is not expected to carry the load for the Padres in the bullpen. We'll see this year if he's up to the task.

Projected Lineup
1. Jody Gerut, cf
2. Edgar Gonzalez, 2b
3. Brian Giles, rf
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1b
5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3b
6. Chase Headley, lf
7. Luis Rodriguez, ss
8. Nick Hundley, c

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Jake Peavey, rhp
2. Chris Young, rhp
3. Cha Seung Baek, rhp
4. Josh Greer, rhp
5. Wade LeBlanc, lhp

Projected Bullpen
Heath Bell
Mark Worrell
Cla Meredith
Chris Britton
Justin Hampson

Top Prospects
1. Kyle Banks, 1b
2. Jaff Decker, of
3. Matt Latos, rhp
4. Kellen Kulbacki, rf
5. Cedric Hunter, cf