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San Diego Padres 2018: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Expert Insight

Wil Myers

Wil Myers

After losing out in the Shoehei Ohtani sweepstakes, the club instead made a significant investment in free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Padres are still rebuilding, but general manager A.J. Preller has signaled the club intends to be more competitive this season. There is plenty of talent in the farm system, but the big-league club, playing in the loaded NL West, was only three games better in 2017 than it finished in '16. The first wave of young talent came up late in 2016, and another is expected this year. Fans hope the second wave will include two of the franchise’s top prospects, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and righthander Cal Quantrill. No matter who comes up, it’ll likely be another season with some more growing pains and without a playoff appearance. 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the PADRES

“They looked like a 100-loss team last year, but having some experienced starting pitchers kept them from being too bad. They’re still in that ‘try not to be too embarrassing at the big-league level’ phase, and while they’ve got a lot of high-ceiling talent in their system, there’s not a lot that’s ready to arrive this season. Manuel Margot is a fun guy to watch with his athleticism. Wil Myers came back down to earth last season — he wanted to go 40-40, but 30 homers and 20 steals was still pretty good. They don’t have many trade chips, and they asked for way too much for Brad Hand, which is why he’s still there. I like Dinelson Lamet, who has two above-average pitches in his fastball and slider. I’m not as sold on Luis Perdomo. They’re always offering him around in trades, but he struggles with command and doesn’t have strikeout stuff. Clayton Richard is a perfect guy for them: He solidifies one spot in the rotation, he gives them innings, and he’s not breaking the bank.”  

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Hola, Mexico

MLB is moving a Dodgers-Padres series May 4-6 from San Diego to Monterrey, Mexico, as part of a push to spread the game internationally. It will be the third time the Padres will have played regular-season games in Monterrey. They moved a series against the Mets in 1996 to avoid conflict with the GOP presidential convention, and they moved their Opening Day game against Colorado in 1999. The 1996 Monterrey trip is best known for the finale, when Padres slugger Ken Caminiti needed two bags of intravenous fluid to battle dehydration and then hit two home runs to lead the Padres to victory. The drawback to this trip to Monterrey is that the Padres are giving up their only home weekend series against the defending NL champion Dodgers.

Brown again?

The Padres plan to study whether they will return to the brown-and-yellow color scheme of the 1980s. While a segment of the fan base has been pushing for it, the team hasn’t been so moved. The earliest there could be a change is 2020. The Padres plan to break out a special uniform for their 50th anniversary season in 2019. The Padres added a distinctive yellow trim in 2016, when they hosted the All-Star Game, but dropped it for 2017 in favor of a basic blue and white color scheme. The Padres do wear brown uniforms for home Friday night games.

Tough job

Matt Stairs is San Diego’s new hitting coach, which means he has the worst job security on the staff. Stairs is San Diego’s ninth hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004. He replaces Alan Zinter, who was fired on Sept. 1. Stairs spent the 2017 season as the Phillies’ hitting coach. He played parts of 19 big-league seasons with 12 franchises, including the Padres in 2010. He is baseball’s career leader in pinch-hit home runs with 23. Stairs is perhaps best known for his pinch-hit, two-run homer off Jonathan Broxton in Game 4 of the 2008 NL Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.

Projected Lineup

CF    Manuel Margot (R)
SS     Freddy Galvis (S)
1B    Eric Hosmer (L)

RF    Wil Myers (R)

LF    Jose Pirela (R)
3B    Chase Headley (S)
C      Austin Hedges (R)
2B    Carlos Asuaje (L)
INF    Cory Spangenberg (L)
3B     Christian Villanueva (R)
OF     Franchy Cordero (L)
OF     Hunter Renfroe (R)
C       A.J. Ellis (R)
LHP     Clayton Richard
RHP     Dinelson Lamet
RHP     Bryan Mitchell
RHP     Luis Perdomo
RHP     Tyson Ross
LHP     Brad Hand
LHP     Kirby Yates
RHP     Kazuhisa Makita
RHP     Craig Stammen
LHP     Buddy Baumann
RHP    Colten Brewer
RHP     Chris Young