April Troubles will Bring May Doubles
Boy this has certainly been a rough start to the Padres, certainly one of the roughest I can remember. The 3-12 start to the season has already blackened the hearts of many Padres fans and now treating the season as a total wash and that we are heading for a 55-win team. Wow we really that bad? I beg to differ. It’s just that April, has not been the Padres most favorable month of the season. Let’s look at the Padres since 2010 in April.
2010: .248/.325/.387 wOBA: .319
2011: .211/.293/.308 wOBA: .271
2012: .211/.309/.329 wOBA: .283
Even with the hitting prowess of Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres still scrapped a meager line in April 2010. With Gonzo fleeing for greener pastures (I’m not talking about grass) in Boston, the April offensive challenges were all the more apparent. Many games were won/lost by 2 runs or less. However, as it can be observed, Padres are actually better, albeit not substantially, right now than last year’s team this month. If we’re better than 2011, then why the atrocious start?
In addition to being offensively plagued, the Padres are also injury plagued with the key injury to our “big bat” Carlos Quentin. Dustin Moseley looks to be lost for the season and Tim Stauffer is slowly making his way back from the DL. Injuries hurt any team it’s just the magnitude of the lost player(s) differs from team to team. To their credit, Anthony Bass and Joe Wieland seem to be holding their own especially the latter coming off a bad start with the next one a quality start. Another item which can be attributed to our rough start is just the dumb luck of baseball. Padres seem to struggle against the NL West of late and thirteen out of fifteen games were against them. In addition, seven out of our first fifteen games were against the red hot Dodgers. They are playing good baseball right now.
But there is some light! Once the Padres slogged through April, the Padres did have quite a marked improvement in the month of May.
2010: .248/.326/.349 wOBA: .301
2011: .249/.303/.363 wOBA: .295
Alright so 2010 there some some slight regression. But note the marked improvement of May 2011. Even Brad Hawpe had a tremendous improvement in May putting this up: .303/.367/.506. If Brad Hawpe can do that in May, the Padres should improve in May and there are signs of that happening already. Nick Hundley is finally seeing the ball better. Chase Headley hit safely 11 of his last 12 games. Cameron Maybin also had improvement in May 2011. May brings longer days and warmer weather. Warmer air means the ball carries further in PETCO PArk and we should see more offense.
So while this start has been quite the rough one, Padres fans, it is not over. May will see the return of Carlos Quentin which, as mentioned, should provide that key bat we have been needing. Padres are better than the 3-12 record currently and we should see a marked improvement in the coming months. Stay with it Padres fans, we’re going to improve. Fifteen games does not make a season.