San Diego Padres Getting Better, Still Need Work

Olaf BerserkusCorrespondent IApril 14, 2008

Here it is. The opening of the third week of the baseball season and the San Diego Padres sit in second place in the NL West with a record of 7-6. 

After taking two of three from the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, it is time to take a look at where the Padres are succeeding and failing this season.

Once again, pitching is the calling card of the Padres, led by Cy Young Award Winner Jake Peavy.  Second in the National League with a 3.31 ERA and .222 BAA, the Padres continue to one of the top teams in the NL in terms of their arms. 

What remains to be seen, however, is if the bullpen can keep the team in ballgames.  The bullpen has a 5.70 ERA and .270 BAA, 15th and 14th in the National League, respectively. 

Kevin Towers, GM of the Padres, has always been able to pick up random arms and have them make up a good bullpen, but so far this year the Padres are not so fortunate. 

If the Padres are going to continue to have success this season, they are going to need the bullpen to figure out its issues.

Batting has not been the strong suit of the Padres since they moved into PETCO in 2004.

Last year, the team's batting average was .251, second-worst in the league.  After two weeks in 2008, the Padres are hitting .276, second-best in the league to the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Yes, the Padres have only played 13 games but the most telling part of this statistic is the Padres have played the majority of their games against division foes, a good sign for what may come later in the season. 

Even though the Padres are hitting for more average so far this season, the hits they are getting are unfortunately almost all singles.  San Diego leads the league in hits, with 122, but only 23 of those were for extra bases, fewest in the league. 

Along with the lack of extra base hits, is the anemic run production of the Padres.  If the Padres hope for continued success this season, they will have to pick up their offensive production, something their fans have hoped for years.

There is still much baseball to be played in this young season.  It waits to be seen how the Padres will continue, both in pitching and batting. 

There are signs of good and bad looking at the stats after the first two weeks.  Then again, it is only two weeks.