The Problem Is At The Top
The San Diego Padres have imploded, and I blame the GM and the Head Coach. If you look at their record, the Padres were an exciting, competitive team up until the moment they traded for Adam Frazier. The players had to be thinking, why did we go get an all-star second basemen when we have Ha Seong-Kim and Jake Cronenworth, possibly the team's MVP? What we need is a strong, dominating starting pitcher!
When Fernando Tatis got hurt, they panicked, and Jayce Tingler started messing with the line up and the batting order. Ever since, the team has lost its momentum, identity and intensity.
They have added Jake Arrieta, Reiss Knehr, Daniel Hudson, Nabil Krismatt, and Jake Marisnick. Nothing too exceptional or impactful. You have to ask yourself, is this all they got? I feel bad for the guys that are sharing starting roles: Will Meyers, Eric Hosmer, Victor Caratini and Adam Nola. They are being shuffled around and never know when they're going to start or where in the order they are going to hit.
Jayce, don't mess with the batting order!
Tommy Pham was rapidly becoming one of the MLB's best leadoff hitters, and settling in for the first time in his career. But when Tatis went down, Tingler moved Cronenworth to short, put Pham on the bench, and started playing musical chairs at the leadoff spot. Boom, the team imploded. Everybody is playing out of place, the batting order makes no sense, and all of the players' batting averages have crashed.
The starting pitchers are never properly prepared to start games. We look like a minor league team that just got off the bus. If we can survive a first inning tsunami, we might be able to rally and salvage a win. But teams that have to rely on the bullpen to bail out starters that can't complete 5 or 6 innings are never going to finish the season strong. The pitching staff is a train wreck.
Now, with mounting injuries, the first-half team is gone. It was looking like a lock to make the playoffs. Everybody was contributing, the offense was multifaceted and the bullpen was consistent. Mark Malancon was racking up saves. Suddenly the running game and the power game have disappeared. The second-half team is playing like the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters.
GM A.J. Preller has, once again, put the team in a position to lose with wishful trades and acquisitions that simply don't make any sense. Tingler is playing fast and loose with the batting order and the makeshift lineup is putting the whole team under unnecessary pressure.
When my son was playing travel ball, his team was getting routinely shellacked. The coaches would lecture them, shout at them, single out players for slacking off, and then change the line up every day, hoping to find the magic formula. The last game of the season, the manager gathered the team together just before the game, and said, "Alright! You guys think you're so smart, tonight you are going to manage the game yourselves! We (the coaches) will be sitting on the bench watching! Good luck, I hope you can figure it out!"
The team went out and won 25-0….