The San Diego Padres' 2013 season has been a roller-coaster, to say the least. A terrible start, followed by an incredible hot streak and then mediocre playing, makes it hard to determine an outcome for the team.
In taking the headline to heart, I’ll preface this by saying my predictions are definitely bold. Before your comments start to roll in, I’ll order the predictions from most likely to the boldest.
Two games out of first place and in a weaker NL West, it’s hard to argue the Padres are going to give up and be sellers nearing the trade deadline, but the inconsistent play may be alarming for the front office.
As I mentioned on the previous slide, I’m going to start with the least bold and most likely.
MLB Trade Rumors and Jon Heyman both report the Padres have been in talks with the Cubs discussing a deal for Matt Garza. The initial reports state the Padres would give up pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Keyvius Sampson.
In my opinion, I think the Padres should jump on this offer. They’re in a position to make a run at the division title. Right now the biggest issue for the team is its pitching. Neither Clayton Richard nor Edinson Volquez has been even serviceable this season.
Also, once Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso return from injuries, the team’s above-average offense will get an even bigger boost.
Chase Headley has been unexciting so far this season. After posting career numbers in 2012 and finishing fifth in the NL MVP voting, Padres fans have had high expectations for him this season.
It’s reasonable to question if his previous thumb injury is lingering and hampering his power. Yet, Headley asserts he’s healthy and just in a slump. Manager Bud Black has taken notice and has moved Headley around in the lineup in an attempt to spark his bat.
Obviously, Headley has the talent in him. He caught fire in the second half last season, where he obtained a good chunk of his stats.
There have been some rumblings the Padres could trade for an additional outfielder. Names like Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Morse, and Josh Willingham have been thrown around.
Though Stanton likely has an impossibly high asking price, I think Morse could be a plausible target for the Padres. Will Venable isn’t a starting outfielder on a champion-caliber team, let’s face it. Also, Carlos Quentin can’t be expected to play every day given his declining health.
This prediction all depends on how aggressive the Padres’ front office is during the deadline. Given their lackluster showing in the offseason, it’s hard to figure the Padres will open their pockets and give away valuable assets. But hey, it is a bold prediction.
This prediction isn’t as bold as you may have initially thought. Earlier this season the Padres were on a roll and won seven in a row.
Furthermore, the Padres have shown themselves to be a second-half team in recent years. If the Padres again find that magic from the second half of the 2012 season, they could go on a run and be this year’s Cinderella-story team.
Through the summer they have stretches in their schedule where a streak could happen. At the end of August and beginning of September, they play the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Rockies and Phillies in order. Besides the Diamondbacks, all those teams are currently under .500 and are extremely beatable.
I guess this prediction is contingent on a few of the previous ones. If Headley regains form and the Padres win 12 in a row, they should be the front-runners in the NL West. Also, any additions the Padres can make will improve their chances two-fold—both by helping their team and likely taking that player away from a division rival.
Again, I realize this is bold; however, if the Padres play a dominant second half they do have the pieces required to make a deep playoff push. We’ve seen in the past the hot teams entering the playoffs making a serious World Series push.
The Padres also have some injured players coming back in the second half, most notably ace pitcher, Cory Luebke, whose addition will help the team's playoff push.
The only reason this is a bold prediction is because of the incredible NL rookie class this year, including L.A. Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig. Surprisingly, though, the overall crop of candidates has gone grossly underreported, with the majority of stud rookies being pitchers.
Players such as Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jim Henderson and others are leading the NL Rookie of the Year charge.
However, Jedd Gyorko can’t be overlooked. If he can continue to hit when he comes off the DL he can make a substantial push for the award. The aforementioned pitchers may be put on pitch counts and sidelined down the stretch, a place Gyorko is unlikely to be.
What do you think?