Is There Reason For The San Diego Padres To Be Hopeful In 2014?

By Randy Holt
Ian Kennedy
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season hasn’t been kind to the San Diego Padres. They’ve had some small victories and some success stories throughout the year, but overall it has been a year plagued by regression, health woes, and suspensions for performance enhancing drugs. Is there hope for them heading into next season?

The Padres head into these final couple of weeks of the regular season already having known for some time that their playoff chances were virtually zero. Several key players in their lineup, including rookie Jedd Gyorko and key bat Carlos Quentin, among others, have dealt with injury. Chase Headley  has struggled mightily for most of the year.

Add the Biogenesis suspensions onto the rest of their woes, and you can see why the 2013 campaign has been such a downer for the Padres. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll head into the 2014 season with extremely low expectations. This is a team with a few pieces and could be able to make a bit of noise in the new year.

They have solid pitching. Andrew Cashner has been solid as a starter, it’s just a matter of staying healthy. While Tyson Ross has a ways to go to prove he’s a legitimate starter, he’s been very good. Ian Kennedy has been very good since coming over at the trade deadline. There are pieces in this rotation and they have a strong bullpen.

A healthy lineup could bode well for them. It’d be hard to believe that Headley will be worse in 2014 than he has been this year. Gyorko should return to his first half form after an injury has slowed him in the second half. Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin will be healthy, at least to start the year. Suspended players, including Everth Cabrera, will be back next year as well.

The Padres won’t head into the 2014 season on anybody’s list of contenders, especially with their competition in the National League West. But this isn’t exactly a bottom feeder in the NL either. They could make some noise next year, but at the very least, having a completely healthy roster next year will wipe the slate clean and revive some hope in San Diego for 2014.

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