Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
On Friday, with a 2-0 lead, and runners on first and second with one out in the third inning, Chase Headley grounded into an inning ending 2-6-3 double play. Three innings later, with one out, and a runner on second, Headley hit a two run shot over the right field wall, suggesting that the Padres may be close to breaking out of an early offensive slump.
Two days later, on Sunday, the Padres took their first series of 2014 after a 5-1 victory against the American League power, further reinforcing that a slump that saw the Padres score 18 run in nine games, could be over.
This team will not be an offensive juggernaut, but an effective Headley, along with Jedd Gyorko, Yonder Alonso, Everth Cabrera and a healthy Carlos Quentin should translate to average offensive production, even while playing 81 games at Petco Park.
An average offense, along with a pitching unit that is arguably the strongest it has been since the Jake Peavy-Chris Young era, should translate to more than five wins every 12 games; especially if Andrew Cashner can keep up with his, “throw a one-hitter every five starts,” pace.
The Padres have the most talented roster that they have had in years, and without a significant weakness on the field, many experts pick them as a “sleeper” for the final playoff spot.
However, at a point in the season when talking about the playoffs is like guessing the gender of a child preconception, we should look at the reality of another slow start, which has been plagued by below average offensive production, and find a silver lining; in winning 5-of-12 games so far, the Padres have won the same amount of games through the first 12 this season, as they did the previous two seasons combined.