|2007 Postmortem: The San Diego Padres||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on December 11, 2007
2007 Season Postmortem the San Diego Padres
Highlight of the season:Â Finishing with the third best record in the National League despite an offense which ranked ninth out of sixteen teams.
Low point of the season:Â Watching staff ace and NL Cy Young winner Jake Peavy stumble on three days rest when he tried to carry the team in the one game playoff for the Wild Card spot.Â Peavy gave up 6 runs in 6.1 innings along with 10 hits and four walks against Colorado.
Best move of the season:Â Adding Gregg Maddux to the team both for his experience and for an arm which still had some life in it.Â Maddux went 14-11 with a 4.12 and helped stabilize the Padres rotation.Â He was the teamâ€™s most reliable and winning pitcher after Jake Peavy and the Padres needed every single one of his wins to force that one game playoff with the Rockies.
Worst move of the season:Â Trading for catcher Michael Barrett in June was a move which certainly didnâ€™t help address the teams need for offense.Â In 44 games Barrett hit .216 with no home runs and just 12 RBIs.Â
Key Player:Â Adrian Gonzalez.Â Yes, I know everyone expected me to say Jake Peavy but the truth is that the Padres have the best pitching in the National League by a huge margin.Â Even without Peavy the Padres pitching would be one of the best in the NL but without Adrian Gonzalez the offense basically would have been non existent.Â Gonzalez lead the Padres in average (.282), Home Runs (30), RBIs (100) and RBIs (101) - essentially he was the offense for this team and heâ€™ll likely have to take that role for the team in 2008 as well - a big responsibility for a guy whoâ€™s just 25 years old.
Up and Coming Player:Â Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff played his first full season in the Major Leagues and didnâ€™t do a bad job at all.Â In 484 at bats he hit .275 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs and heâ€™s still a year or two away from hitting his prime.Â He looks like heâ€™ll be a fixture at third base for years to come.
What went right:Â The Padres blew the National League out of the water when it came to pitching and were best overall in baseball when it came to ERA.Â Aside from Peavy and Maddux the Padres boasted one of the best bullpens in the NL and Trevor Hoffman the all time saves leader just kept padding that stat by saving 42 more games.
Strong seasons by Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff who were better than expected gave the Padres a much needed shot in the arm when it came to offense.Â Without them this team could have packed it in by the All-Star break.
What went wrong:Â Â Every time the team looked like it was finding its feet offensively a major player went down with an injury.Â Admittedly it was the usual candidates facing major injuries like Milton Bradley and Mike Cameron but even though it was to be expected it kept the Padres offense on the scant side.
Pitching wise the Padres were brilliant - except when the team asked Jake Peavy to pitch on three days rest.Â Â Down the stretch Peavy found himself in that situation twice the results were ugly 0-2, 14 ER allowed with 17 hits and 7 walks allowed in 10.1 innings.
Offseason Preview:Â The Padres biggest need for 2008 is offense but just where they are going to find is a big question.Â Â At least three key parts of their starting lineup (Milton Bradley, Mike Cameron, and Marcus Giles) have filed for free agency along with Rob Mackowiack, Michael Barrett, and Geoff Blum along with pitchers Brett Tomko and Doug Brocail.
The pitching part isnâ€™t a huge concern as the Padres are in the midst of working out a long term extension with Jake Peavy and theyâ€™ve already signed both Gregg Maddux and Randy Wolf to one year contracts for next year.
That begs the question just where is the offense supposed to come from?Â The Padres have money to spend but with this thin free agent class do they really want to spend it?Â Â The Padres need to find some outfield help and now that some of the big name free agents have struck deals the market is getting even thinner.Â That could force the Padres to look within their own organization for help - particularly to Scott Hairston who still hasnâ€™t lived up to his potential so far.