Last game @ Petco tonight, in this toughest of seasons for the Padres. This team (currently 68-90) will have to fight for 70 wins & avoiding the NL West cellar (ARZ), but they will be much better for it going forward. The Padres opponents tonight are the NL West champion LA Dodgers. It’s been a long, but winning season for the Dodgers, who now have a suspect starting rotation (due to injuries) behind ace LHP Clayton Kershaw.
Dodgers also have an inconsistent run-producing lineup, led (and too often carried) by ROY Corey Seager. On the plus side, they do have good defense– rated 2nd in the NL in efficiency, behind the Cubs. Overall, the Dodgers look a bit thin matching-up against the Nationals in the divisional round, but the Gnats have never won anything themselves, so it could be an interesting series.
Padres finished just above league-average defensively, mostly due to their innovative use of shifting by new manager Andy Green. The Padres shifted more than any other team in MLB in 2016, and gained a huge advantage in outs recorded. Many Padres defenders individually were average (at best), or poor including: 3B Yangervis Solarte, RF Matt Kemp, second base, shortstop, and most of their bench.
Padres were last in the NL in OBP & 13th in SLG, yet they were 10th in runs scored. Again this is a testament to Andy Green & GM A.J. Preller working together with advanced metrics in everything, as the Padres offense had no business being as productive as it actually was. Their aggressiveness on the bases, in all aspects netted them several wins over the course of the season. Padres fans loved it.
Their GM traded away all their pitching by the 8/1 deadline, then acquired more-productive pitchers off the waiver wire in RHP Paul Clemens & LHP Clayton Richard. This cost savings allowed splurges in the amateur & international drafts, reaping a bonanza of talent for the organization. The Padres finished 10th in the NL in ERA, just behind PIT & STL.
Rule 5 selection Luis Perdomo, age 23, threw 146.2 IP and survived the season with an ERA of 5.71. His 60+% ground-ball rate was the best in MLB for starters. Most likely he’ll be the Padres opening day starter in 2017, with the health status of RHP Tyson Ross still in question?
Padres would love for Clemens and Richard to return at affordable deals, but it’s a barren pitching market so they may receive significant offers elsewhere. They may have a better chance of thriving in San Diego, but they’re each certainly better than RHP Edwin Jackson, who is finishing off his overpay contract with the Cubs in San Diego. If the Padres can get RHP Jared Cosart (acquired in the Marlins ‘Cash Out’) healthy & right, he could be a rotation horse.
We’ll see what Preller, Green, pitching coach Darren Balsley, and their medical staff can come up with. Pitching is the crux of any future success. Padres must develop power arms and keep them healthy, if they are ever to consistently compete for a World Series.
The last Dodgers/Padres tilt of 2016 signals the end of Vin Scully & Dick Enberg behind the microphone, two of the All-time Golden Voices. Each are amazing & incomparable in their resume & style. Each will be missed & forever loved by sports fans everywhere.
Final Wrap-up: 10-2-16
Tough season for the Padres, and their fans knew it was over after the first series, getting shut-out 26-0 vs. the Dodgers @ Petco. 3B Yangervis Solarte got hurt the next series against Colorado (pulling his hamstring rounding first base), and RHP Tyson Ross never pitched after opening day. Lots of work to be done in San Diego. Player development & medical issues– mainly keeping their pitchers healthy, are priorities after their talent-grab this year.
At some point after the trade deadline when RHP Luis Perdomo pitched, there were 6 rookies in the Padres starting lineup. The Padres staff to start the season was Ross, Shields, Cashner, Pomeranz & Rea: 3 traded & 2 DL’d. How this team didn’t lose 100 games is mostly about Andy Green, and some great dumpster acquisitions by AJP in 2B Schimpf, RHP Clemens, LHP Richard & SS Sardinas.
Padres ended up with the 3rd worst record in MLB at 68-94, behind the Twins & Reds. This determines their slot order for the next Rule 5, Amateur & International drafts; as well as priority for any waivers claims, in which AJP has proven very effective. He’s possibly the best GM at evaluating talent in the game right now, and he owns high-slot picks for all the upcoming drafts.
The International draft will surely be modified, as the current MLB collective bargaining agreement (2012-16) is set to expire. New rules will surely be set in place for the this draft, to ensure one team doesn’t acquire 30% of the top talent all to itself– the way AJ Preller did this 2016-17 signing period for the Padres. 
One final off-season note: baseball fans should push to eliminate the DH under the new CBA. Papi is retiring, and David Ortiz was the best remaining argument for the DH. The DH has been kept in place by the MLBPA because it’s a high-salary, veteran player position. Unions like that. Unfortunately, the DH creates unfair AL line-ups, which abuse & destroy pitching.
It’s too much of a high-payroll advantage for the Boston Red Sox to start LHP David Price, and allow David Ortiz to hit for him. That’s 2 HoFer’s in one player, with no penalty for Ortiz’s bad defense. Also, the DH allows far too much throwing at hitters with no repercussions, since AL pitchers don’t bat. It’s not real baseball, and owners are going to want the savings. We’ll see…