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San Diego Padres 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

San Diego Padres: Hunter Renfroe

San Diego Padres: Hunter Renfroe

They did it. The Padres made the big move that their fans have been clamoring for — they signed free agent Manny Machado to a staggering 10-year, $300 million dollar contract that gives the team a proven bat in the middle in the lineup and, more important, shows that the franchise is serious about fielding a winning team. The turnaround might not be immediate, but the arrival of Machado combined with a loaded farm system — headlined by top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. — puts the Padres in great shape to be relevant over the next decade. 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Padres

“The Ian Kinsler signing bumps Luis Urias from second to short, which is where Fernando Tatis Jr. plays. I’m not sold on Urias, because I haven’t seen any power or speed profile in the minors. But he’s 21 and he’s hit at every level, so he deserves a chance. If it comes to a point that Urias and Tatis are both ready, they can always try Kinsler at third or trade him. The Eric Hosmer signing was a bust in Year 1 — leadership and defense only go so far when you’ve got a long, flat swing that doesn’t produce much life. The catching spot is interesting, because Austin Hedges is a far superior defender to Francisco Mejia, but if you move Mejia out from behind the plate, he’s just an ordinary guy as a hitter. Once again, they’ll struggle on the mound. Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer are useful lefties, but they’re back-end guys for me, and I don’t see a lot of pitching in the high minors that gets me too excited.”

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Beyond the Box Score

Trevor Time The summer marked the Hall of Fame induction celebration for former closer Trevor Hoffman. Two lasting nods to Hoffman are a statue at Petco Park beyond center field — opposite a statue of the late, great Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn — and a short stretch of street outside Petco Park renamed Trevor Hoffman Way, which intersects with Tony Gwynn Drive.

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Brown’s Back?

This could be the last season the Padres use their blue and white color scheme. It’s believed that the Padres will seek MLB approval to switch as early as next season to a color scheme highlighted by the brown that anchored their look for their first two decades of existence. Whether it’s a return to the “mustard and mud” of the early Gwynn years remains to be seen, but many fans have clamored for years for a return to brown. The Padres wear brown unis for home Friday night games, which made an impression with Cubs manager Joe Maddon last year. Prior to a Saturday night game, Maddon asked reporters if the Padres were going to wear those sweet unis again. Told they were for Friday nights only, he said: “I love those. I think they’re the best uniform ever. Awesome, awesome. That uniform last night, you can’t beat that. They’re the best. I love them.”


Revolving Door No job in San Diego sports is as tenuous as that of Padres hitting coach. Matt Stairs was the latest to be fired — after just one year on the job — as the Padres continued to rank at or near the bottom of the majors in key offensive stats. Johnny Washington was promoted from assistant hitting coach, making him the Padres’ 10th hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004. Mark McGwire resigned as bench coach in order to spend time watching his sons play high school ball in Irvine. He was replaced by Rod Barajas, who had a successful three-year run as manager at Triple-A El Paso. Former All-Star infielder Damion Easley was hired to work primarily with infielders and serve as assistant hitting coach. 


Remembrances Former general manager Kevin Towers was posthumously inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame on May 12, 2018, less than four months after he died at age 56 of thyroid cancer. In 14 seasons as GM, Towers built teams that won four NL West titles and the 1998 NL pennant. In another remembrance, the Padres re-named their annual prospect game as the “Don Welke On Deck Classic” in memory of the renowned scout and front office executive who died in September at age 75. 

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Projected Lineup

LINEUP

2B  Ian Kinsler (R)
LF  Wil Myers (R)
1B  Eric Hosmer (L)

3B  Manny Machado (R)
RF  Hunter Renfroe (R)
C   Austin Hedges (R)

CF  Manuel Margot (R)
SS   Luis Urias (R)

BENCH

OF  Franmil Reyes (R)
INF  Greg Garcia (L)
C     Francisco Mejia (S)
OF   Franchy Cordero (L)
INF  Javy Guerra (L)

ROTATION

LHP  Joey Lucchesi     
LHP  Robbie Erlin 
RHP  Bryan Mitchell
LHP  Eric Lauer
RHP  Jacob Nix

BULLPEN

RHP  Kirby Yates (C)
RHP  Craig Stammen
RHP  Robert Stock
RHP  Phil Maton 
LHP  Matt Strahm
LHP  Jose Castillo 
RHP  Trey Wingenter

2019 PREDICTION

4th NL West