Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Yu May Be Right


A week in New York and the Padres are even closer to last than they were before, have now lost Juan Soto to a back issue, and I'm pretty sure Bob Melvin got pick-pocketed on the 4 train.

It's not going well for this Padres team at all. Even with all the contracts, all the stars, and all the impressive defensive players, they're just not getting it done, and they've fallen so far behind in the NL West that the Giants have overtaken them. The big feel-good breakout in that division is the Diamondbacks, and the Padres now have so much money and so many contracts that they're not even the small competitors that can sneak in anymore. It's hard for the Titanic to sneak. Icebergs can sneak.

Some of the people the Padres have spent all the money on, like Xander Bogaerts and, honestly, Yu Darvish, are doing well. Bogaerts is still hitting at Boston levels. Darvish got rocked the other day but he's still struck out 59 people so far this year and still looks relatively dominant at 36. The two guys that the Padres need to worry about for the offseason, Josh Hader and Juan Soto, are putting on tour-de-force seasons, perhaps knowing that free agency isn't too far away. And the much-maligned Fernando Tatis Jr. is at least delivering, and hitting well despite the cries of 'cheater' coming from the Yankee fans. 

But a lot of contracted guys aren't delivering as well as they should. Manny Machado is not only hurt right now, but he wasn't playing very well, and having his first real down year since roughly 2017. He's hitting .231 with only one more hit than he has strikeouts. After nearly winning an MVP last year, this is a harsh alternative. Joe Musgrove is similarly struggling, with a 5.64 ERA over 6 starts. And then there's just so many guys, like Blake Snell, Matt Carpenter, Adam Engel and the very injured Drew Pomeranz, that they shouldn't have spent money on in the first place. Like, what the hell can you say about Nelson Cruz at this point? Oh, he does his one thing he always does kinda well, but not as well as he did when he was 40. 

There is some promise creeping in, and some of the depth choices, like Tom Cosgrove and Rougned Odor, have had some recent successes, but this has been a first two months the Padres would rather move on from, and hopefully they'll be able to as they head into June. If they finish the year out of playoff contention, after everything they did last year, it'll be heartbreaking.

Coming Tonight: Who'd have thought this guy would become the hero he's become in Tampa?

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