MLB San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres’ First-Half of 2014 MLB Season Report Card

San Diego Padres' First-Half of 2014 MLB Season Report Card

San Diego Padres
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The Padres might be in third in the NL West, but that doesn't mean the team is in contention. With Los Angeles and San Francisco running away with the division, San Diego doesn't have much to play for in the second half. With Chase Headley trade rumors swirling and ESPN currently giving the Padres a 1.1% chance to make the playoffs, San Diego is facing tall odds. Here is the Padres' 2014 first half report card.

5. Batting: F

Yasmani Grandal San Diego Padres
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5. Batting: F

Yasmani Grandal San Diego Padres
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San Diego's anemic offense was a major factor in the team's first half struggles. The Padres rank last in the majors with a dismal .215 team batting average, 22 points lower than any team in the league. San Diego is also last in OBP, slugging percentage, runs scored and total bases. If the Padres offense was even mediocre in the first half, the team wouldn't already be out of the playoff race.

4. Fielding: B-

San Diego Padres
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4. Fielding: B-

San Diego Padres
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The Padres are in the middle of the pack fielding-wise, ranking 15th in errors committed (58) and 16th in fielding percentage (.984). San Diego's defense hasn't been bad enough to hurt the team, but it hasn't been good enough to help the playoff cause, either. The defense won't decide whether the team makes a big second half playoff push though, the offense will.

3. Starting Pitching: B+

Tyson Ross San Diego Padres
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3. Starting Pitching: B+

Bud Black San Diego Padres
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The starting rotation has been San Diego's strong suit in the first half, keeping the team's record semi-respectable. The Padres rank fourth in all of baseball with a 3.15 team ERA, as Tyson Ross has emerged as the team's ace in 2014. Ross boasts a 2.70 ERA with eight wins in his breakout season, but Andrew Cashner has been injured and Eric Stults has performed poorly. The Padres rotation does have the potential for a great second half, however.

2. Relief Pitching: B

Joaquin Benoit San Diego Padres
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2. Relief Pitching: B

Joaquin Benoit San Diego Padres
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It's hard to give the Padres' bullpen a grade, as the team's closer, Huston Street, was dealt to the Angels before the trade deadline. Expect Joaquin Benoit to step into the closer's role for the remainder of the season, which could end up being a revelation for San Diego. Benoit has a 1.99 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP, numbers that indicate the new closer could make a name for himself in the second half of the 2014 season.

1. Managing: C

Bud Black San Diego Padres
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1. Managing: C

Bud Black San Diego Padres
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Bud Black's Padres have really struggled, especially when it comes to actually scoring runs. Regardless of how well the team's pitchers have been performing, it's nearly impossible for San Diego to win games when the team ranks last in nearly every offensive category. San Diego currently sits 11 games off the pace in the NL West, so it will be interesting to see if the Padres offensive can improve and close the gap in the second half.

Jacob Dennis is a writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.