|14-20 (5th place, NL Central)
14-20 (5th place, NL West)
Zack Greinke (0-1, 9.00)
Mat Latos (0-4, 4.55)
Shaun Marcum (3-1, 2.06)
Clayton Richard (1-3, 3.55)
Randy Wolf (3-3, 3.38)
Tim Stauffer (0-1, 2.61)
Before Zack Greinke and the Brewers start their series with the Padres tonight, here are some thoughts on the opposition from jbox of Gaslamp Ball.
KL: What happened to this team? After coming within inches of a playoff spot in 2010, they've dropped all the way to last place in the West in 2011. Is this a hiccup they'll overcome, or a sign of a potential long season?
JBOX: Last season the Padres thrived on pitching and defense. In the off season they looked to further improve their defense up the middle. On paper it seemed like they did, with the acquisitions of Cam Maybin in Center, Jason Bartlett at shortstop and Orlando Hudson at second. The starting pitching has been descent so far, the bullpen remains amazing, but the defense has been poor. Everyone on the team is at fault too, it seems to be someone different every night either making an error, failing to turn a double play, missing a cut off man, etc. As things stand now it sure looks like this could be a long season, but that's not to say that there isn't enough talent to turn it around. The awful offense hasn't helped either. They've already been shut out 8 times this season.
Follow the jump for more!
KL: Looking at the numbers, it's pretty clear the Padres aren't getting much production from two traditionally offensive positions, first base and right field. What, if anything, can the Padres do to improve there?
JBOX: Jed Hoyer has repeatedly said that "These are our guys", meaning that we shouldn't expect to see many roster changes unless it's due to injury. Anthony Rizzo, the first basemen acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is tearing it up in AAA but needs more work in the minors before Hoyer will bring him up. There's probably a better chance of seeing Kyle Blanks return to his natural position of first base if Hawpe continues to struggle and Blanks earns his way back on the team. Will Venable is a streaky hitter and the reason why the production has been poor from right field.. So far this season he's really struggled offensively and he's not a young player any more, it's time for him to become the player the Padres think he can be.
KL: Nick Hundley is putting up pretty good numbers for a guy I think a lot of baseball fans don't know much about. What can you tell me about him?
JBOX: Nicky Hundley is probably the hardest working player on the ball club. He came out of the gates really hot but is currently on the DL for an oblique strain. He's been platooning the last several years, but Black wants him to become a full time catcher. It remains to be seen if he's durable enough to take that role.
KL: Despite a somewhat serviceable 4.55 ERA, Mat Latos is entering play Monday with losses in nine straight decisions. What's happened to him?
JBOX: Mat Latos hasn't been able to recapture his 2010 success yet. He's been inconsistent with his delivery and with his results. Things just haven't clicked yet for him. He hasn't been helped by the previously mentioned poor defense and lack of offense either.
KL: Heath Bell has been excellent, but is (former Brewer) Mike Adams the best reliever in San Diego's bullpen?
JBOX: Mike Adams might just be the best reliever on the team. He could definitely do the job if Heath Bell is traded this season. He's mentioned recently that he he'd really like to become a closer and he might get his wish if things continue on their current path for the Padres.
Thanks again to jbox for taking the time, and be sure to check out Gaslamp Ball for more on the Padres!