Wednesday, April 15, 2009

San Diego Padres: Among the best in MLB?

Are the San Diego Padres really one of the best teams in MLB?

With a 6-2 start, you’d think so. With most “experts” picking them to finish last in the NL West (and possibly with the worst MLB record), you’d think not.

What makes this team go thus far in 2009?

Look no further than the bullpen.

Through eight games, it has been the best bullpen ERA in the majors. (Of course, San Diego started out the same way last year, only to implode on its way to a 63-99 record.)

Outside of Duaner Sanchez, Cla Meredith and Heath Bell, you’ve never heard of any of the guys in the bullpen. Bell won’t make people forget that Trevor Hoffman is the all-time saves leader; but he’s soon going to make people forget about Hoffman as the team’s closer (Bell is for real!)

The starting staff is solid at the top with Jake Peavy (until he gets traded) and Chris Young. When you consider No. 3 starter Walter Silva came to the U.S. on a tryout from Mexico last month, it tells you all that you need to know about the back end of the rotation.

Outside of cleanup-man Adrian Gonzalez, the lineup is either largely unproven or a couple of has-beens. Those has-beens, David Eckstein and Brian Giles, will make opposing pitchers rack up the pitch count … if nothing else.

Thus far, Eckstein is playing with the enthusiasm of a rookie. He can only hope that his enthusiasm spreads; along with his patience.

Nobody is petitioning yet for Bud Black to be the NL Manager of the Year.

But if he can keep this rag-tag bunch at or near .500 all year, he certainly needs to be considered.

1 comment:

sam said...

I don't think they can keep it up. Too many weak pitchers & Adrian G. is the only solid hitter. Always hope for the best!