|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||SAN DIEGO PADRES|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Manuel Margot - CF|
|David Peralta - RF||Wil Myers - 1B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Yangervis Solarte - 2B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Ryan Schimpf - 3B|
|Yasmany Tomas - LF||Hunter Renfroe - RF|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Austin Hedges - C|
|Chris Owings - SS||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Travis Jankowski - LF|
|Shelby Miller - RHP||Jarred Cosart - RHP|
Remember when the Padres used to be relevant? Kids, ask your parents! For it has now been over a decade since San Diego last appeared in the post-season, back at the end of 2006. The following year was likely the last time we paid them much attention, as us, the Rockies and the Padres were covered by a game for the top three spots and Colorado beat San Diego in a one-game playoff. The Padres are still waiting for Matt Holliday to touch home-plate. Over the nine seasons since then, they've managed no titles, no wild-card slots and one season higher than third, with this looking likely to be their seventh consecutive losing campaign.
It's certainly a different approach in San Diego, after the spending spree before the 2015 campaign failed miserably to buy success [a lesson sadly lost on Dave Stewart and D-backs management, the following winter]. Now, they have a farm system regarded as among the top three in baseball, along with the Yankees and Braves, though the talent mostly appears to be a long way from the majors at this point. They also ended up with the players taken in the first 3 slots of the Rule 5 draft this winter - infielder Allen Cordoba, reliever Miguel Diaz, and catcher Luis Torrens - though none of them are in the starting line-up this evening.
But it may be an ugly couple of seasons for Padres' fans, before this starts to show fruit. For the last team to carry three Rule 5 picks for an entire campaign were the 2003 Tigers, and they went 43-119. While no-one is expecting San Diego to be quite that bad this year, this is the kind of team everyone else in the West should be pounding on a regular basis to pad their records. That said, so far they are 5-5 against the West, having won series against both the Giants and Rockies, so it would not behoove the D-backs to think they just need to show up to collect three victories.