A New Era
If you are any sort of San Diego Padres fan, I would expect a smile on your face for the next two months, anxiously awaiting the start of the 2015 season. For the past, well, decade, the Padres have been rather nonexistent in the MLB Playoff hunt and find themselves behind the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West division.
All of this is about to change.
Over the offseason, the Padres acquired some of the top prospects in baseball and finally have a squad that can compete with the best of them. Their pitching staff was excellent last year and all the team needed was a few weapons on offense.
The Padres ranked 30th in the MLB in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage last season, but I do not think they will have similar numbers in 2015.
This hole in the team was filled when they brought in outfielders Matt Kemp, Will Myers and Justin Upton. They already had decent outfielders, but the addition of these three players should result in solid offensive production throughout the season.
I believe that having several good outfielders is an advantage because it allows players to get a night off to rest and the team will not have to worry about the replacement. Carlos Quentin, Will Venable and Cameron Maybin were on the roster last year, but must now compete for their playing time.
This is another factor that I believe will help the Padres in the long run. Competition creates a hard-working atmosphere at practice and games, which puts a little pressure on these players when they step on the field. I do not think that the previous outfielders had very much competition or had to worry about someone taking their spot, so the addition of a few top-notch players might spark a fire.
The San Diego community does not seem to be behind the Padres as much as they should be, so hopefully the new team will create a buzz around the city.
Last year when the San Francisco Giants came to Petco Park, it seemed like there were more Giants fans at the game than there were Padres fans. It was pretty embarrassing from a Padres perspective, but I hope that the players feel more support at the home games this year.
The executives continued their effort to rebuild the franchise by getting pitcher, James Shields, to join the Padres Organization. Shields pitched in the World Series last year for the Kansas City Royals and should be very productive in the Padres rotation.
With all the excitement, I will be attending a lot more Padres games this year. That is for sure.