The D-backs are riding some momentum, having just won a series against the Dodgers, knocking them out of first place. That accomplishment makes the season less disappointing. The Padres’ season is much more disappointing. The reasons are more than the difference between third place and last place.
- Wins at home: Padres won 29 – only the Orioles have less. The D-backs won 40.
- Runs Scored per Game: Padres averaged 3.82 (27th in the Majors). Dbacks averaged 4.28.
- Payroll. This season the Padres spent about $20.5 Million for players released or traded away. The D-backs spent $13.5 Million for a player no longer on the 40-man roster.
- Rotation. Padres were the worst in the Majors with negative 11.0 WAA. The D-backs were 11th in the Majors with +4.2 WAA.
- Rotation unpredictability. During the season, 12 pitchers have been part of the Padres rotation. Eight lost significant time due to injury, and two were lost on waivers. The D-backs were more predictable with 8 pitchers who started more than 1 game. Three of the pitchers (Miller, Walker, and Buchholz) are currently on the 60-day DL.
Francisco Mejia is worth watching.
In July, top-100 prospect Francisco Mejia was traded from the Indians to the Padres. In September, he was called up. He has potential to be an amazing batter.
- “He should be a solid producer for batting average and at least moderate power.” —John Sickels
- He has efficient use of his kinetic chain. Let me explain. The perfect baseball swing is not always a balanced, repeatable stroke. It is a combination of adjustable movements resulting in efficient use of the kinetic chain and ultimately square contact with the baseball, regardless of pitch speed or location.
Mejia wants to play catcher, but his position flexibility may increase his plate appearances. He has played in the outfield, third base, and catcher. He has a passion to be catcher. “It’s a position I’ve always played. It’s where I feel comfortable.” - Francisco Mejia
Padres have prospects.
After the first game of the season, the Padres were never in first, so they did not experience the disappointment of falling out of first several times like the D-backs. The fans cheer for Eric Hosmer. In addition to Francisco Mejia, top-100 baseball prospect Luis Urias was called up to the Majors (although now on DL with a pulled hamstring).
The Padres have many talented players in the minors. Although having talent is good, this off-season could be challenging.
SDhopeful, SB Nation, wrote that the Padres, after losing their 2 players who are entering free agency, could have 66 players competing for the 40-man roster. And that count is after losing two starting pitchers to waivers! Although I would non-tender Cory Spangenberg and Jose Torres, many difficult choices remain.
The D-backs have more flexibility because they have 11 players entering free agency and are unlikely to bring back more than 3. Also, I would non-tender Chris Owings and Shelby Miller. Perhaps the D-backs can pick up a few players in the rule-5 draft!
Who will pitch in this series?
Friday. Eric Lauer (4.6 ERA, 8.0 SO/9, 3.8 BB/9) vs Patrick Corbin (3.23 ERA, 11.2 SO/9, 2.2 BB/9)
Andy Green, Padres Manager, said every pitcher is auditioning for a role in next year’s team. That applies to the three rookie starters who will pitch for the Padres in this series. In September, Eric Lauer has the better ERA (1.84 vs 9.82 for Nix and 7.23 for Lucchesi).
Patrick Corbin ranks second in the NL in strikeouts per 9 innings (Scherzer is best). Nevertheless, this game is advantage Padres.
Saturday. Jacob Nix (6.81 ERA, 4.9 SO/9, 2,3 BB/9) vs Zack Godley (4.75 ERA, 9.4 SO/9, 4.1 BB/9)
Jacob Nix’s firts start was called up on 10 August. In September, he is not repeating his good August results. For September, his ERA is 9.82.
Similar to Nix, Zack Godley’s September is not repeating his good results. For September, his ERA is 7.64. This could be a high scoring game, with advantage D-backs.
Sunday. Joey Lucchesi (4.14 ERA, 9.9 SO/9, 2.3 BB/9) vs Robbie Ray (3.91 ERA, 11.8 SO/9, 5.0 BB/9)
This season, Joey Lucchesi was the Padres’ most consistent starter. He started on 30 March and continued the entire season, except for 15 May-19 June with a hip strain. He struggled in September. For September, Joey Lucchesi’s ERA is 7.23.
Robbie Ray’s September has been excellent. He allowed only 11 hits, with an ERA of 1.88. Big advantage D-backs! Let’s end the season with a win!
I tip my hat to Jim McLennan,
plus my fellow AZ Snake Pit writers and fans. We strive to express amazing wonders, more often than not vanquishing the foes of boredom and misery. When our writing and comments are done, we melt back into fandom.
I am far from done, and I will continue to be part of the AZ Snake Pit. My writing has changed over the years. More significantly, my joy and happiness are boundless.
Sometimes, it is worth expressing what is widely known. Writing for Jim McLennan and the AZ Snake Pit is awesome. Thank you Jim, I am forever grateful for my opportunity!