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Padres Second Half Positives and Negatives

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MLB

Padres Second Half Positives and Negatives

Week in Review

The San Diego Padres are now 2-3 in the month of August following their loss to the Pirates on Sunday. The team had a day off before they begin a four game series away against the Cincinnati Reds today.

The Friars received another solid start out of Jhoulys Chacin earlier in the week against the Minnesota Twins, as the right handed pitcher continued his stretch of positive outings on the mound. Chacin pitched seven scoreless innings, beating the Twins at home on Tuesday and lowering his season ERA under 4.00. With that start, Chacin has pitched to a 2.59 ERA in his last four trips to the mound, surrounding only one homerun in 24.1 innings in the process.

Brad Hand, the subject of intense trade rumors all the way up to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, has continued to dominate out of the pen in San Diego. The left hander picked up his eighth save of the season in the Padres 5-2 win over the Pirates on Saturday. With his inning and two thirds of scoreless ball in the Padres lone win of the Pittsburg series, Hand now has pitched 23 straight innings without letting up a run since early July.

Positives

Besides the aforementioned standouts, other Padres have continued to show improvements throughout this lost season for San Diego. Centerfielder Manuel Margot is one player who has seen his stats rise in the small number of games played since the All-Star break compared to the first half of the season. After hitting .263/.311/.392 in the first half, Margot has seen his numbers jump to .308/.312/.513. While his on base percentage has stayed pretty much the same, the increase in the young outfielder’s slugging percentage is the product of his having already hit four homers. That nearly matches the five he hit in the entire first half of the 2017 campaign. In addition, the rookie continues to play stellar defense for the Padres with only error committed so far.

Outfielder Hunter Renfroe still has yet to master the art of keeping his on base percentage above .300 (.289 at the moment) or close to the league average of .324, but has shown power throughout his two seasons in the big leagues. Renfroe has 20 homers on the year and the Padres have to be hoping that with more seasoning, the outfielder can translate his power success into on base success as well in the coming years.

Negatives

This column could again highlight a young player like Renfroe for his lack of on base skills, but other players for San Diego who have less time to round out their games are struggling even more.

Wil Myers, the centerpiece for the Padres of a three team deal after the 2014 season that sent, among others, Trea Turner to the Nationals, has yet to live up to the promise he started to show last year. The 26-year old clubbed 26 home runs last season to the tune of a sound if unspectacular .259/.336/.461 stat line. The high hopes for the outfielder this season and the thought of him becoming the main power source in the middle of the San Diego lineup was a tantalizing image for Padre fans. Unfortunately, even with 21 home runs on the year already, its starting to appear that Myers is regressing from last season. In 89 plate appearances since the All-Star break, he has just a .187 batting average with 24 strikeouts.

Another player who has given less than expected returns for the Padres this year is left-handed pitcher Clayton Richards. Richards went 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA in the nine games he started for San Diego last year, but has been a much different pitcher this season. Now 5-12 with a 5.17 earned run average, Richards leads the National League in hits and runs allowed for the year.