2006 San Diego Padres Preview

January 4, 2011

2005 Overview:

In 2005, the NL West Champion San Diego Padres managed to accomplish more with less. Despite a new ballpark, the offense for the team was spotty all season. Ryan Klesko (.248 18 58) led the team with 18 homeruns while Mark Sweeney (.284 8 40), Brian Giles (.301 15 83), shortstop Khalil Greene (.250 15 70) and catcher Ramon Hernandez (.290 12 58) completed the better parts of the lineup.

The Padres pitching was the most solid aspect of the team led by rookie Clay Hensley (1-1 1.70 in 47.2 innings pitched). Hensley was called up in July and helped starters Jake Peavy (13-7 2.88), Woody Williams (9-12 4.85) and reliever Akinori Otsuka (2-8 3.59) post an 82-80 final record which was good enough to clinch the NL West.

Off Season Moves:

Padres GM Kevin Towers made sure to re-sign Brian Giles then moved on to strengthen the already solid bullpen by re-signing closer Trevor Hoffman (1-6 2.97 42 saves). Towers also traded third baseman Sean Burroughs to the Devil Rays in exchange for pitcher Dewon Brazelton (1-8 7.61), then upgraded their offense at third by trading pitcher Brian Lawrence to the Nationals for Vinny Castilla (.253 12 66). The Padres also improved their outfield defense, and added some offense, by trading Xavier Nady for the Mets’ Mike Cameron (.273 12 39 13 stolen bases). Second baseman Mark Loretta was also moved to the Red Sox for catcher Doug Mirabelli (.228 6 18) which became necessary with the loss of free-agent catcher Ramon Hernandez who signed with Baltimore. Starter Adam Eaton and reliever Akinori Otsuka were also traded to the Rangers in a 6-player deal for starter Chris Young (12-7 4.36) and backup outfielder Terrmel Sledge (.243 in 20 games). Catcher Mike Piazza (.251 19 62) and pitcher Shawn Estes (7-8 4.80) also joined the team as free agents in January.

2006 Analysis:

The Padres had a busy off season looking to keep their team strong for another playoff run in 2006. The rotation, the best part of the team in 2005, may be a bit shakier in 2006 without Eaton and Lawrence. Newcomers Young and free-agent pickup Shawn Estes (from Arizona) aren’t quite on the same level. The ace of the staff Jake Peavy will be expected to shoulder much of the load again. The bullpen will be without Otsuka, Chris Hammond and Rudy Seanez, but the addition of Hoffman was solid pickup for the team. The weak offense has improved, with Castilla and former Mets Cameron and Piazza added. The Padres gave up very little to pickup Cameron who missed all of August and September due to devastating collision with centerfielder Carlos Beltran. Cameron will return to his natural position in centerfield in 2006. Piazza is also a good pickup. When rested he can still provide decent power numbers although he still remains a defensive liability when it comes to throwing. If he is used carefully there is no reason why he can’t make a positive contribution.

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