01 February 2011
Each day this week, a member of the Bloguin family will preview the upcoming 2011 season for each of the NL West Teams. The Giants Cove (Giants), RJ's Fro (Padres), The Rockie Mountain Way (Rockies), TetreaultVision (filling in for the Dodgers) and D'Backs Venom (Diamondbacks), will all give their 2 cents for their respective teams. First up on the list is SDPads1 at RJ's Fro answering all the hard hitting questions about the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
I'm proud to participate, and glad you clicked here to take a peak, but the credit for this report is all due to SDPads1 at RJ's Fro and reading the preview over there is well worth your time. Due up next are the Rockies.
1. 2010 Record
90-72 (2nd in NL West)
2. Player Additions
SS Jason Bartlett, 1B/3B Jorge Cantu, SP Aaron Harang, 1B/OF Brad Hawpe, INF Jarrett Hoffpauir, 2B Orlando Hudson, C Rob Johnson, P George Kontos, OF Cameron Maybin, P Dustin Moseley, UT Eric Patterson and RP Chad Qualls
3. Player Losses
SP Kevin Correia, 2B David Eckstein, SP Jon Garland, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Tony Gwynn, UT Jerry Hairson Jr., OF Scott Hairston, RP Edward Mujica, 1B/OF Matt Stairs, SS Miguel Tejada, C Yorvit Torrealba, RP Ryan Webb and SP Chris Young
4. Strengths going into 2011
With the exception of SP Jon Garland and RP Ryan Webb, the Padres will be bringing back all the key members of one of the leagues best pitching staffs last season. Led by one of the leagues most underrated pitching coaches in Darren Balsley and a former pitcher in Manager Bud Black, this team will most likely be towards the top of the pack in that department once again in 2011. Also, on paper, this is one of the most well balanced, athletic and quick teams that the Padres have had in years. With the pitching, defense and speed once again being a strength in 2011, good things might be in store for the Padres once again.
5. Weaknesses going into 2011
The depth. With the trade of Team MVP 1B Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres got back 4 players. The trouble is only 1 player is currently Major League ready and he's a utility guy that may not even make the team. Any injuries and this team will most likely struggle to fill holes. Plus with the trade of Gonzalez it also takes away that "power threat" in the lineup. OF Ryan Ludwick may be that guy, but he struggled in his brief stint in San Diego late last season, so the jury's still out.
6. Mat Latos burst onto the scene in 2010 and is now considered the future of the San Diego Padres. Is Latos overhyped? Or is his sub 3 ERA going to be around for quite sometime? (The Rockie Mountain Way)
Latos has amazing stuff and his 2010 season was no fluke. After reaching a career high in innings pitched, he struggled a bit down the stretch. But even so, he was still hands down the best pitcher on the staff last year and was one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. At only 23 years old, he should build off that successful 2010 season and will be around for years to come. Before last season, I guessed that he would be the key to the Padres success. I'm going to say that this will be the case once again in 2011.
7. Did San Diego get enough for Adrian Gonzalez? And of course why? (TetreaultVision)
I would have liked a bit more but I think Padres GM Jed Hoyer got as much as he could for Gonzalez. The 2010 success was essentially a curse when it came to dealing him, since his stock was probably at it's highest last season. Still, the Padres got the Red Sox 2 top prospects in SP Casey Kelly (a projected #1 or #2 starter) and 1B Anthony Rizzo (a stud 1st baseman) plus two more players in OF Reymond Fuentes (an extremely fast outfielder) and UT Eric Patterson. The only downside is that Patterson is the only Major League ready player. We'll pretty much have to wait a few seasons to see who really "won" this deal. It is comforting to know that Hoyer & Padres Assistant GM Jason McLeod drafted those guys when they were with Boston though, so they clearly knew what they were getting.
8. Another big question the Padres face is whether Cameron Maybin will live up to his potential or did they deal for a busted prospect? (TetreaultVision)
The change of scenery might do Maybin some good. He has huge upside, is still young and we really didn't give up anything to get him. That alone makes this a win no matter what happens. If he fails, we gave up some replaceable relief pitchers. If he does well, then it's a score and a half. Besides, last year's CF Tony Gwynn Jr. did amazing with the glove, yet couldn't hit worth a lick. Maybin may be a slight downgrade on defense but if he can do anything with the bat he'll easily be an upgrade over Gwynn.
9. San Diego had the best bullpen ERA in the Majors in 2010, and their performance was key to the Padres amazing success last year. Does the 2011 Pads bullpen look to be 1) as good, 2) better, or 3) worse than 2010? (The Giants Cove)
To the outsider, seeing the Padres trading away so many bullpen arms may have been cause for concern. But in realty Webb was the only one that was in the Padres 2011 plans. With the emergence of young fireballer Ernesto Frieri and keeping the back end of Heath Bell, Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson in tact, the bullpen should be as good, if not better this season.
10. Is Aaron Harang a passenger on the Jon Garland "career reclamation express" or is there some reason we won't see him have his best season in recent memory? (TetreaultVision)
It's a well known fact that Petco Park works wonders for pitchers. While Garland put up one of his finest seasons in years last year, he has still been around 200 IP each of the past 9 seasons. Harang is another story having averaged 152 over the past 3 seasons. If he can stay healthy for the season I could definitely see a nice bounce back year for him. But if his health takes a hit once again then the SDSU grad could be a passenger on the Chris Young "I always get hurt every year express" instead.
Projected 2011 Lineup
1. SS Jason Bartlett
2. 2B Orlando Hudson
3. 1B Brad Hawpe
4. LF Ryan Ludwick
5. RF Will Venable
6. 3B Chase Headley
7. C Nick Hundley
8. CF Cameron Maybin
Projected 2011 NL West Standings
1. San Diego Padres
2. Colorado Rockies
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
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