Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Padres continue to roll over the Dodgers
The Padres win their second straight over the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers and where does this end?
When the Padres dropped two of three in San Francisco, falling back to .500 and back into fourth place in the National League West, twitter and Facebook lit up with such negativity. The Padres come home and win the first two in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and suddenly all of social media is buzzing once again.
And the Padres — against all odds — are now in second place in the division, 2 1/2 games in back of the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. Is now the time to jump on the bandwagon?
Considering that more than half of the starters are hurt and not playing, perhaps it’s time to credit the organization for having the depth that contenders need in Major League Baseball. Every club in the division – most notably the Dodgers and the Giants — have a payroll that far exceeds that of the Padres, who would be in last place if the outcome were to be decided by player salaries alone.
There is no guarantee that the Padres can continue to compete in the division, but again, if their backup players can fill in so magnificently, then you have to give them a shot at remaining above .500 and at least chasing. And you can credit both Josh Byrnes and his predecessor, Jed Hoyer, with stocking the farm and acquiring players through trades who foot the bill so far as organizational depth.
The Padres are soon going to face a wonderful dilemma, what with players coming off of the disabled list and others facing being sent back to the minors. Logan Forsythe is currently batting .333 so when Jedd Gyorko comes back, what happens to Logan?
Alexi Amarista is a remarkable utility player, and Pedro Ciriaco in a small sample-size has been stellar in the absence of the injured Everth Cabrera. That will make for a crowded infield, especially when you take into account that Yonder Alonso is getting better by the day.
And then there’s Clayton Richard, who threw two pitches in Friday night and came out of the game. He seems certain for the disabled list. Robbie Erlin threw well on Friday night for AAA Tucson, so he’s the likely candidate to fill a starter’s role in a few days.
Depth is everything. It’s easy to toss the Padres aside if you look strictly at payroll, but if you consider depth, then it might be a good time to jump on the Padres band wagon. Even if the Padres don’t finish where you want them, it’s still looking like one hell of a ride.
According to Corey Brock of mlb.com it appears that Brad Boxberger and Anthony Bass are being recalled from the minors. No word yet on who goes back down, but I’ll certaintly tweet that from the ball yard in a couple of hours (@refriedgringo), but surely Clayton Richard will be on the DL. Since Tyler Ross and Tim Stauffer went long, the move makes sense in order to get fresh arms into the bull pen.
Game three of the four-game series happens tonight at Petco Park, and be forewarned of traffic issues. Park at a trolley station with good lighting if you have tickets, the game is apparently sold out. Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.84) will go for the Padres against Zack Greinke (3-2, 4.22) of the Dodgers. Game time is at 4:15 PM PDST and 1090 AM will be on your radio dial while the game will be picked up on FOX, so Time Warner Cable subscribers will get to see what they are otherwise missing on Fox Sports San Diego.