2014 MLB Team Preview: San Diego Padres

San Diego Chicken San Diego Padres 2014 MLB Team PreviewThe injury bug bit the head off the San Diego Padres last season. It started with Cameron Maybin and just started taking out every position player one-by-one.

They couldn’t even make it through Spring Training injury-free. Maybin will start the season on the disabled list with a ruptured biceps injury. Also, Chase Headley suffered a calf strain, but should be ready for Opening Day.

San Diego didn’t make many offseason moves. Their roster is nearly identical to the one they ended the season with in 2013. It’s hard to evaluate your team when most of them are in the trainer’s room getting treatment. If they have similar issues again, expect changes to be made.

Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the San Diego Padres.

2013 Win/Loss Record: 76-86

Key Additions: SP Josh Johnson, RP Joaquin Benoit, OF Seth Smith & SP Tony Sipp,

Key Losses: RP Luke Gregerson, 3B Logan Forsythe, RP Anthony Bass, 1B Jesus Guzman, SP Brad Brach & RP Colt Hynes,

Interleague Schedule: AL Central + Seattle Mariners

Projected Starters: Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko, Chase Headley, Everth Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin & Will Venable

Projected Starting Rotation: Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, Josh Johnson, Tyson Ross & Eric Stults

Closer: Houston Street

Fantasy SleeperOF Carlos Quentin – If Quentin didn’t break down for weeks at a time during the season, he would be a top 20 outfielder. In the small amount of time when all the starters were healthy last year, Quentin was an RBI machine. His 162 Game Average (if you squished all his games into full 162 game seasons) is 31/98/.255. Only a choice few play 162 games, but even if Quentin has a 24/80/.260 season, he’s worth picking him late in your fantasy draft.

Prospects To Keep Your Eye OnSP Casey Kelly & SP Matt Wisler – The Padres acquired Kelly, a former first round pick, from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. He made a few starts at the end of the season and didn’t look great. They brought him up from Double-A and is in need of some Triple-A seasoning. Wisler had better numbers in Double-A and is the organization’s #2 overall prospect. They could both see time in the Majors at some point. The Padres don’t have many MLB-ready prospects. Their #1 prospect is catcher Austin Hedges, but he is blocked by Yasmani Grandal. The Padres will need to make a decision soon on who will be the future at the position.

Team Analysis: There isn’t much difference between the 2013 Padres and the team in 2014. I don’t blame GM Josh Byrnes for standing pat, since most of the starters were never on the field at the same time in 2013. He needs to see everyone on the field to evaluate the team. He added often-injured starter Josh Johnson and former Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit. Johnson was once an elite young starter, but injuries have halted his development. If they can get 160+ innings from him below 4.00 ERA, the $13m risk would be worth it. The team is filled with position players who have yet to live up to their potential. Yonder Alonso has never developed the power he shown in college, Yasmani Grandal hasn’t been able to stay healthy and Cameron Maybin never lived up to his prospect hype. They are still young and San Diego needs them to have a breakout seasons. If they can stay healthy, Chase Headley finds his power and Jedd Gyorko continues to improve, San Diego could be a surprise team. A lot has to go right for them to be a contender, so I see them hovering around .500 for most of the year.

2014 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 79 (Prediction: PUSH)

2014 Projected Win/Loss Record: 79-83 (3rd NL West)

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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