Preller’s Padres Puzzle is Falling Into Place

AJ Preller

A week into the season and the pieces of Padres general manager A.J. Preller’s puzzle seem to be falling into place.

After being stymied for 22 straight scoreless innings, the feeling around town was “new-look Padres, same old results.” With Friday’s late-inning dramatics, Wil Myers provided a RBI double giving San Diego the boost it needed to beat the Giants, 1-0.

The first two series of the season featured gritty NL West games, hard fought and with enough drama to make “Dynasty” fans jealous.

In the Los Angeles series a ghost of Padres’ past in the form of Adrian Gonzalez torched his prior team going 10 for 13, hitting .769 with five home runs and two doubles – hitting three long balls in one game off of Andrew Cashner.

San Francisco certainly did not disappoint, either. Beginning with a plate incident where Giants center fielder Angel Pagan threw his bubble gum at Padres catcher Derek Norris, tensions were at an all-time high as both benches were immediately warned.
Newly acquired Padres closer Craig Kimbrel was conveniently wild in buzzing Pagan under the chin with a 97 mph fastball – instantly winning him favor with teammates and showing leadership.

The Padres added enough talent in the offseason to convince national pundits they could challenge the Dodgers and Giants for a division title. The last three games against the Giants showed that this team has the ability to live up to the hype.

The baseball season is six grueling months.The Padres may have stubbed their toe out of the gate, but have gained enough momentum in winning three straight to be confident for their series with the Diamondbacks, before hitting the road against the Cubs.

As the Padres are still search for their identity, they have shown they don’t lean on one player to pick up the team and carry it.

With contributions coming throughout the lineup, epitomized by backup catcher Wil Nieves’ grand slam off of the Giants’ Jake Peavy, this Padres team is dangerous. Preller’s dizzying moves are coming to fruition and the rest of the NL West should take notice.

Padres fans have a lot to be excited about. It’s a feeling that most fans have been waiting over a decade to embrace, reminding them of the 1998 NL pennant-winning club.
That inspires hope that this team may be poised to make a serious run, deep into the postseason.

+ Written by Mighty 1090 intern Dennis Gulyas under the direction of Jay Paris

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