2016 Record: 68-94
2016 Finish: 29th in MLB, Last in National League
2016 in Review
The San Diego Padres did not have much to celebrate in 2016. In fact, a lot of things were celebrated because of them. New York Mets fans rejoiced when Bartolo Colon went yard off of James Shields, and the Atlanta Braves rejoiced when Matt Kemp came their way and set them up for a big second half push. There’s more, but that’s enough for now, I don’t want any Padres fans to feel bad because I’m sure they do already.
The Padres lost 6 more games in 2016 than the previous season which is great considering how much firepower they lost in the offseason. The Padres came into 2016 with a small lineup of passable guys and Wil Myers. Jon Jay and Matt Kemp would try their best as well, but it could never amount to much.
In their opening weekend at home, the Padres not only got swept by the Dodgers, but they did so without scoring a run. The Padres were shutout at home in the first series of the year. Not great. The offense would struggle the rest of the season, coming in with a National League Worst .235 Batting Average.
.235 is not very good.
However, despite all of the losses, the Padres pitching staff were hot commodities on the trade market. James Shields went to Chicago, Drew Pomeranz went to Boston and Fernando Rodney, Colin Rea and Andrew Cashner all went to Miami. Just so we’re all on the same page, that’s 4 out of their 5 opening day Starters and their lights out closer.
Sounds great, right? A team on the rebuild, has a core group of guys to build around… wait… what? Oh, there’s allegations of mishandling medical records? Oh, the Padres GM A.J. Preller got suspended for asking his trainers to keep two sets of medical records? That Colin Rea got sent back because he was damaged goods and the Red Sox decided to keep Drew Pomeranz after it came out that he was taking pills for an elbow issue the Red Sox weren’t told about? OH MAN! THAT’S AWFUL. That’s bad.
Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. Those are two names you will hear for a long time in San Diego. Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot came up to the Big League Club in September and proceeded to make a loud statement of arrival. Marmot has speed like you would not believe, stealing 30 bases for AAA El Paso, all the while hitting .304. That’s a lead-off hitter, ladies and gentlemen. Renfroe is a little different. Built like his teammate Wil Myers, Renfroe is a natural corner outfielder with power to spare. Renfroe hit .304 in El Paso, crushing 30 homers and driving in 105 RBIs. It’s normal for a prospect’s numbers to dip when they join the Major League club, but Renfroe decided that was some nonsense. Renfroe hit .371 with 4 Round-trippers and 14 RBIs. What these two rookies showed us is the future of the Padres. How long will it take for that future to come to fruition is still up in the air, but it’s good to see glimpses of it.
Honestly? The whole organization is a bit of a disappointment. It’s always tough to hear any accusations of tanking, especially in Baseball where tanking doesn’t ensure a good MLB ready player. The Padres Organization, on the whole, is a mess and it’ll take some time to clean up. Mike Dee, the President and CEO of the Padres, was let go in a whirlwind of a day this past October. That move alone should show the Friar Faithful that ownership is not going to be messing around anymore, although that road to redemption might be longer than you think.
The unfortunate answer here is more of the same. The Padres will pay $28 million dollars to players not on the team in 2017. That’s $2 million more than they’ll be paying players actually wearing Padres uniforms. It’s awful, and it’ going to be awful. However, if there is any silver lining in this year’s disaster of a season, it’s the growing anger and frustration of the San Diego faithful. If there’s one thing that can change a team’s future’s it the fanbase’s lack of faith in ownership.