So, how will the Padres finish in 2013? There are plenty of reasons for optimism, but also reasons to be pessimistic. Today, I’ll take a look at reasons for optimism. Next time, we’ll take a look at reasons for pessimism. After that, I’ll offer my predictions.
Reasons for optimism:
- The Padres are in far better shape than they were last year (don’t forget, they were 17-35 to begin 2012, on pace to lose 110 games, but wound up losing just 86).
- Gone are lead-weights Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett.
- Rookies Yonder Alonso, Logan Forsythe, and Alexi Amarista all got some valuable experience under their belts, and will only get better.
- Carlos Quentin is several months removed from knee surgery.
- As part of an ongoing Padre tradition, their bullpen is among the best in the league.
- Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez showed solid consistency as starters last year.
- Jedd Gyorko figures to have a solid rookie season.
- The RF platoon of Will Venable and Chris Denorfia produced much better than expected: combined, their stats made Padres RF’s the tenth best in terms of production in 2012.