As quickly as the San Diego Padres started off the 2014 season with an emphatic 3-1 victory of the division rival L.A. Dodgers, they have since plummeted.
The Padres are currently 3-6 on the season, and have shown little hope of anything better than another mediocre year in the NL West.
The Padres are ranked in the bottom of just about every statistical batting category: 29th in runs, 28th in batting average, 29th in on base percentage, and 30th in slugging percentage, and have failed to demonstrate any semblance of an offense. Outside of decent numbers put up by Everth Cabrera, Alexi Amarista, and Yasmani Grandal, it is completely evident that overall, the Padres just don’t have any legitimate MLB batters. While the bullpen has been relatively effective, the lack of runs generated by the Padres’ offense has been the downfall for this ball club. Through nine games, the Padres have only mustered 20 runs.
There is always the thought of, “well, it’s still early, and the bats will eventually heat up,” but there has yet to be any signs that this will be the case. Recurring injuries, inconsistent play, and poor performance have already come about through less than 10 games this season.
Although most supporters of the Padres have come to accept another season of underachievement and lack of success, it makes me wonder how dedicated this franchise is to actually putting together a team that could compete year in and year out.
It just came to my attention that since 1969, the Padres have qualified for the playoffs five times. Five times in 45 years, and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006. Only five other teams have a longer playoff drought.
It seems apparent that the Padres’ front office is in no hurry to make any changes, as why would anyone want to spend any extra money to put a winning team on the field, when they are making enough money with a consistently poor team every season? Bud Black is a very likeable manager, but can he turn the team around? The Padres fan base is not one that is going to be calling for the heads of anyone in the program, so why make any changes?
It’s not as though they don’t have enough payroll to make any changes. The Padres rank 21st in the MLB in total payroll, with $90,094,196 for the 2014 season. Chase Headley, who takes up a little over $10 million of that total is off to a disappointing start, and has now been listed as day-to-day on the injury report. Go figure.
With the series against the Detroit Tigers looming, I am sure that the lack of talent will be clearly evident once again. However, one thing that will be on display, is a team in the Tigers, not afraid to write the big contracts, bring in winners, and compete for championships year in and year out. Padres, take notes.
It’s starting to get old. Although it’s not just the Padres that face these problems, the losing culture it has become a trend within the organization. San Diego has one of the nicest stadiums in the MLB, and it would be nice to pair that with a winning team. All we can do now is sit, wait, and watch.