The biggest news to come out of San Diego this offseason is the Padres moving in the walls at PETCO Park. I’m not sure if doing that is a good move strategically. The team has been built around pitching since the park opened (13 of their top 20 prospects are pitching). Is this move a not-so-subtle way of increasing attendance?
Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin will benefit from the walls being moved in, but can their pitching hold up?
Can San Diego keep up with the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West?
Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the San Diego Padres.
2012 Win/Loss Record: 76-86
Key Additions: 3B Cody Ransom, P Freddy Garcia, P Fautino De Los Santos, P Tyson Ross, OF Travis Buck
Key Losses: P Ross Ohlendorf, SS Andy Parrino
Interleague Schedule: AL East + Seattle Mariners
Projected Starters: Nick Hundley (Yasmani Grandal after his suspension), Yonder Alonso, Logan Forsythe, Chase Headley, Everth Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin, Will Venable
Projected Starting Rotation: Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, Jason Marquis, Eric Stults, Fredd Garcia
Closer: Houston Street
Fantasy Sleeper: INF Jedd Gyorko – The young infielder had Triple-A line last year of .328/24/83. He has torn the cover off the ball in Spring Training so far, so Gyorko could have went from fantasy sleeper to over-hyped prospect. It’s hard to believe that San Diego can let Gyorko stay in the minors for very long this season. Gyorko can play second and third base very well. Forsythe is slated to be the opening day starter at second, but that could turn into a platoon. Gyorko is worth a pick and stash. He could be a much-needed source of power at second base.
Team Analysis: Let’s be honest for a minute. If the Padres want to compete in the NL West, they need to make a few risks that payoff. The Los Angeles Dodgers were bought by a new ownership group and have a new multi-billion dollar TV deal. The San Francisco Giants have won two World Series in the last three seasons. San Diego’s prospect strength is pitching and contending teams pay a premium for pitching. If San Diego can package a few prospects together to surround Chase Headley with a few more bats, the Padres could keep up with the NL West. I don’t see that happening this season, so the Padres will have a long summer.
Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 74.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 69-93 (4th in NL West)