One of the biggest reasons the San Diego Padres were expected to make a run this year was the presence of the “Big Four. With four hard hitters with both skill and star power – third baseman Manny Machado, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and outfielders Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto – on the team, expectations were high.
But the big four collectively underperformed. Machado suffered a microfracture in the palm of his left hand in the sand dunes in May, and was sidelined in August with elbow pain known as tennis elbow. Bogaerts also struggled with wrist inflammation from early May to early July. As a result of his injuries, his batting performance declined.
Tatis, who missed all of last year due to injuries and a banned substance suspension, didn’t perform as well upon his return. Soto did his part, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around. San Diego, which won less than 5 percent of its games all season, ended the season with no real fight in the standings. It was inevitable that blame would fall on the underpaid Big Four.
As the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote on July 7, “A team that relied heavily on the Big Four was doomed. Of the big four, only Soto had an OPS above .790,” and “San Diego’s lineup was criticized for its lack of depth. Only five players had at least 400 plate appearances and an adjusted OPS above average, including the Big Four and Ha-Sung Kim.
‘Jake Cronenwirth’s struggles have been painful. There was no way Trett Grisham (.198) was going to hit over .200. The designated hitter combination of Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz was a hole in the lineup. He also criticized the rest of the lineup, saying that catchers like Gary Sanchez and Luis Camposano were only above average.
San Diego manager A.J. Preller said, “To win the World Series, you have to have a lot of talented players. You don’t build a team thinking you only need four superstars. Look at what Ha-Sung Kim has done,” he said, referring to another key player who is not part of the big four, but has had a breakout year.토토사이트
“I think we’re a good team with Cronenwirth, Grisham, Campusano, Sanchez, one through nine,” Preller said. “If you look at the rosters of the teams that made the playoffs, there are teams that have a very good top four or five, and then there are teams that have a good balance and harmony of 13 guys. There’s not just one way to build a team.”
Given the lack of results this year, Preller will need to be as efficient as possible in building next year’s roster. If the big four continue to explode together, the team will improve, but it’s possible that injuries and other factors could derail them. We need to be prepared for that, and we need to have more depth and roster harmony. The more players like Kim Ha-sung who can play in any position, the better.
Despite the criticism from local media, Preller was reappointed by owner Peter Seidler. “If you look at the teams that made it to the playoffs, the players they relied on performed up to expectations. “We’re going to have a conversation about how we can better prepare for the season. If we need to change the roster, we will.”