Tha Sports Junkies 101

Padres Keep Their Hand

Brad Hand Jason Vinlove - USA TODAY Sports


Brad Hand Stays in San Diego

With the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline now past, the Padres will finish out the year with Brad Hand still pitching in the San Diego bullpen. Hand was seen as the Friars’ most likely piece to be moved but high asking prices pushed teams to find other, cheaper options.

The left-hander, signed off waivers from the Marlins last April to little fanfare, has been a revelation in the Padres’ pen ever since. Hand pitched to a 2.92 ERA last season, striking out 11.2 batters per nine innings after his permanent move into relief. He had pitched out of both the rotation and bullpen during his time in Miami.

Hand, a first time All-Star this year,  has continued to dominate as a relief ace for the Padres, sporting a 2.00 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. In addition, Hand has already set a career high for a season in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) with 2.1, according to Baseball Reference.

With Hand staying put, the Padres can wait to deal him in the offseason or before next year’s trade deadline. The southpaw is due for $1.375 million in his first year of arbitration and is under team control for two more seasons. Due to his affordability and dominance out of the pen, San Diego can continue to search for the highest possible return in a trade during the winter and next season.

Padres Offense Stays Hot to Start Second Half

San Diego has started out the second half of the 2017 season on a positive note, at least for their offense. In seventeen games since the All-Star break, the Padres lead the majors in total bases and are ranked in the top ten in almost every statistical category. Including doubles, hits, runs, home runs and average, the Padres are competing with the best teams in the MLB when it comes to offensive output for the second half.

One standout has been Manuel Margot. After coming off of paternal leave on July 23, the centerfielder has been red-hot following the birth of his son, Diamond. The rookie centerfielder went 14-28 with two doubles, a triple and a home run. In recognition of his recent performance at the plate, Margot was named the National League Player of the Week for July 24-30. He is the first Padre to receive the award this year.

The Padres play against the Minnesota Twins today at home. Starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin will look to continue his recent string of strong performances for San Diego.