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Brewers (44-62) vs Padres (51-54) series preview

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The Padres were the talk of the Winter Meetings and the talk of the trade deadline, but for very different reasons.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres are a weird club. They were the envy of the Winter Meetings wheeling and dealing in a fashion seldom seen outside a a late night drunken fantasy league trade. Then they went and signed James Shields. They basically did everything Brewers fans were clamoring for. Well, except for the ones that continually want a full rebuild regardless of context. And yet they find themselves not much better off than the Brewers at the moment.

It was sort of a reversal of the preseason position for their respective fanbases. Instead of the Padres selling off some bad contracts and legit talent to improve the farm system it was the Brewers. Curiously the Padres made basically no moves at all. It's pretty bold or pretty stupid to stand pat when you're three games under .500 looking up at the Dodgers and Giants.

To be fair there are almost certainly a lot factors we don't know about that went into the Padres non-moves at the deadline. They probably didn't see a lot of good offers. But maybe they should have been more aggressive. Their run differential is -49. The Brewers is -55. They rank 23 and 24 in baseball. Neither team is making the playoffs. One acted accordingly. At least as publicly perceived.

Offensive Spotlight

Justin Upton I guess? In 409 PA he's hit 247/321/429 (116 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 17 stolen bases. That's a nice combination of power and speed. But it's still far from what was hoped for the still relatively young (27) outfielder.

Pitching Match-Ups

Monday August 3, 7:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Tyson Ross

Ross is their best pitcher by far. I'm not surprised they were unwilling to trade him. In 127.2 IP he has 25.3 K%, 11.3 BB%, .244 BAA, 1.37 WHIP, 0.28 HR/, 62.9 GB%, 3.38 ERA, 2.89 FIP. He's always had some trouble keeping his walk rate down but this year's is uncharacteristically high even for him. His GB% probably helps counteract the negative effect of the walks though.

He throws a fastball (93-94), slider and little else. He does mix his four seem fastball with a two seam though.

Tuesday August 4, 7:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Andrew Cashner

I keep telling myself "this is the year" Andrew Cashner is going to break out. But injury often keeps that from becoming true. This year he appears to have been healthy, the results just aren't there (4.13 ERA, 3.97 FIP).

He throws a fastball (94-95), slider, change-up, and curveball.

Wednesday August 5, 7:10 pm CST: Taylor Jungmann vs Ian Kennedy

Now here is a guy that I am confused wasn't traded. It's true that his 4.44 ERA and 5.20 FIP look bad. But it's because of his 2.00 HR/9. The rest of his peripherals look fine: 21.5 K%, 6.9 BB%, .257 BAA, 1.29 WHIP. This isn't a case where he's giving up a ton of hits so it's almost expected his HR/9 would be high. A .257 BAA is not exactly good but I've seen plenty of starters live in that range and his 1.29 is acceptable. I have to believe teams were interested in him. Maybe the Padres were just asking for too much and unwilling to settle? Regardless of what the GM says I don't believe for a second they truly believe they can compete the rest of this year. It's just weird.

Anyway, he throws a fastball (91-92), curveball, change-up, and slider.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs