“On Aug. 31, the San Diego Padres officially gave up (on the season)”
Bob Nightingale, a columnist for USA Today and one of Major League Baseball’s leading sources, posted on social media on Aug. 1 that “San Diego has given up on the season,” which caught the attention of many fans. Of course, no one on the front office, including general manager A.J. Preller and head coach Bob Melvin, said the team had “given up on the season,” but Nightingale argued that San Diego’s waiver claim activity suggested otherwise.
Teams whose postseason hopes have been dashed, or effectively dashed, have entered a “strategic retreat” by placing several players on waivers in late August, hoping that another team will emerge to pick them up. In that case, the remaining salaries would no longer be on the books. They can help the team’s luxury tax threshold, or they can use the waiver wire to explore trade possibilities.
San Diego did not place any players on waivers. At first glance, it looks like they haven’t given up yet. On the other hand, the team hasn’t made any signings, despite the fact that there are plenty of available players on the market, including Lucas Giolito. This is in contrast to the late July trade deadline, when the team decided to make a last-ditch effort to acquire a few players. That move led Nightingale to believe that San Diego had given up on the season.
And for good reason. At the end of July, the idea was “we’re going to make a late-season comeback and try to make the postseason all the way,” and there were still enough games left to make a comeback. But instead, the team stumbled in August, when they really needed to make a run, and now the postseason is extremely unlikely. This is a team with a lot of high salaries. There’s no point in signing players to add to their payroll if there’s no hope.
San Diego is 64-73 (.467) after three days of play. They are in fourth place in the National League West. They are already far out of the wild card race. In the postseason projection model compiled by the statistical site FanGraphs, San Diego has just a 1.1% chance of making the postseason. Based on their current run margin, they’re projected to finish the season with 78 wins and 84 losses, which isn’t good enough to make it to the fall.
There’s a sense of gloom throughout the team. There is no excitement in the squad, as if everyone is anticipating a grim ending. The rotation is in a funk with the losses of starting pitching stalwarts Joe Musgrove (shoulder) and Darvish Yu (elbow), and the bullpen hasn’t been great lately. The batting lineup, which the team had high hopes for, is still out of sync. The team as a whole has lost motivation.
As fans look to “next year,” there are still individual titles on the line for San Diego. On the mound, it”s left-hander Blake Snell, 31. He’s looking for his second career Cy Young Award. At the plate, there’s Ha-Sung Kim (28), who could win a Gold Glove at second base or utility. If the team misses the postseason, it’s possible that some players will stay put, but these two are likely to be the exceptions.
Snell, who is approaching free agency, has been perfect this season and his price tag is skyrocketing. Command has always been an issue for Snell, aside from his powerful stuff, but this year has been different. In 28 games and 155 innings pitched this season, Snell is 12-9 with a 2.50 ERA. He walks a lot of batters, but his strong strikeout rate and low hit totals are the reason he’s been so effective.
Along with Zack Greinke (Arizona), he is currently leading the National League Cy Young Award race. Snell previously won the American League Cy Young Award in 2018 with Tampa Bay. He’s in the running for the Cy Young regardless of his team’s record.
Ha-Sung Kim will try to win a Gold Glove. There aren”t many individual awards for the Yankees, and Kim is arguably the only one. Kim has been arguably the MVP of the San Diego Padres this season. He’s been dominant with the ball, defense, and the bases. In 132 games this season, he’s batting .274 with 17 home runs, 52 RBIs, 77 runs scored, 29 doubles, and a .794 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
Winning a Gold Glove is all about defense. He’s already earned a lot of points here. In DRS (runs saved by defense), a metric provided to voters, Kim is +15. That’s good for sixth place among infielders. He’s competing with Andres Jimenez for second base, but he also plays a lot of third base and shortstop, so he could be included in the utility category. If so, he’s a pretty strong candidate for the award. The final selection is a no-brainer.
However, he can’t be the only one who gets excited when the whole team is sagging. Obviously, the team atmosphere is affecting Kim, who is still motivated. That’s why there’s some concern that San Diego’s gloomy atmosphere could be a hindrance to Kim’s winning ways. It will be interesting to see how Kim’s final spurt of the season goes. 온라인바카라