By Douglas Smith @DFresh39 on May 13, 2014
The San Diego Padres seemed to be building a good core of young players that could make them competitive in the NL West. They have not gotten out to a fast start, sitting three games below .500 and seven games back of the San Francisco Giants. Offense has been the biggest issue due in part to key players not contributing. What do we know about these Padres thus far?
Heading into Tuesday, Cashner was 2-5 with an ERA below three. In the eight appearances by Cashner this year, the Padres have scored just 16 runs. He has not allowed over four runs in any of his starts. He is the ace of the staff, having almost as many strikeouts as hits allowed, but he has gotten little to no run support.
The offense is struggling and the yearly trade candidate Chase Headley can help. The Padres rank 29th or 30th in all of the major offensive categories. Headley just came back from missing 14 games and should find his form. He has hit one home run in seven at bats since returning.
It is very early to assess the big offseason deal with Jedd Gyorko, but the history of general manager Josh Byrnes is ominous. Many of his moves to delay young players' free agent years have not paid off. See: Cameron Maybin, Nick Hundley and Cory Luebke. Though he has hit five home runs, Gyorko is batting .162 and is 4-for-26 over the last week.
The Oakland Athletics are interested in acquiring Kyle Blanks as a utility man, and the Padres should try to ship him out. His debut was impressive, but he has declined quickly. He was just recently recalled from AAA with the team hopeful that he can find his rookie form. However, he is being used as a platoon player who basically starts when there is a lefty on the mound for the opposition.
The Padres avoided arbitration with Seth Smith, and he has been a lone bright spot at the plate. He has a .995 OPS and is batting around .330. The problem is that Carlos Quentin may take his spot in the lineup when he returns. Smith has gotten hotter in the month of May with six multi-hit games. If the offense continues to struggle, Smith should stay in the lineup.
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