Only A Week Away From Opening Day!!!
I had a very busy weekend, so I wasn’t able to write about the games then. As a result, I think I’m like five games behind. So I’m not going to recap each one in detail, but I will talk about some highlights and news.
I guess the most exciting thing is that we are on a six-game winning streak. We have won 13 out of our last 15, which is amazing. We started out the spring not-so-great, but we’ve really picked it up and look where we are right now: a week away from Opening Day. I can’t believe how fast this spring has gone!!! It’s amazing.
The team is shaping up incredibly. I’ve never seen the team this good in the spring. And it’s not just the hitting or the pitching: it’s the hitting, the pitching, the defense, the relief, the bench, the baserunning. We’re amazing! I’ve never seen the team this sharp and so defined so soon.
Jon Garland is going to be our Opening Day starter against the Diamondbacks in Arizona a week from tonight. He’ll be followed by Chris Young, Kevin Correia, and…we’re not exactly sure yet. But it’ll most likely be Clayton Richard and Mat Latos.
A bunch of guys got sent down the other day, and I’d like to acknowledge a few of them for their outstanding springs.
First, Matt Antonelli. Matt has been struggling a lot in the past few years, but he came out this spring and played amazingly. He hit .378 with 14 hits and eight RBIs.
If he hadn’t had this good of a spring, I think the Padres might have given up on him. But he played really, really well, and I’m super excited to see him later in the season. There’s no doubt that he’s going to be up here sometime, maybe sooner than later. I mean, Eck’s our starting second baseman, and I don’t want his job taken away because he’s an incredible baseball player, but it’s good to know that we have Matt in case Eck gets hurt or sometime. Last year, we didn’t have a backup second baseman. Now we do. If we don’t keep David Eckstein after this season, I would feel very comfortable having Matt as our starting second baseman next year.
The second guy I’d like to acknowledge is Aaron Cunningham. We got this kid in the Kevin
Kouzmanoff trade (sniff sniff), but thankfully, he’s been really, really good. We got a good deal for Kouz, that’s for sure. He did excellently this spring. Check out the numbers: 12 hits, six RBIs, eight walks, seven stolen bases, .286 average, plus he was an amazing defender out there in the outfield. I loved watching this kid because he’s young, he’s energetic, and he’s really shown that he can play this spring. I can’t wait to see him up here in the majors later in the year. I think this is the kind of guy who could become a fan-favorite up here. I really do, ’cause I love him already.
The cool thing about all the guys who were sent down, including Mark Worrell, Luis Durango, Logan Forsythe, and Dusty Ryan, is that they’re almost certainly coming back up during the season. This isn’t as much of a demotion as, hey, go down there, keep working hard, and we’ll have you back up before you know it. Logan, Luis, Matt, and Aaron have the potential to become stars with the Padres, and I think the organization has high hopes for these guys, maybe as high as the fans have. I’m really excited about all of these guys. It’s going to be sooo much fun to watch them when they’re up here.
Just knowing that these guys are going to be coming up the majors later in the season would give me hope for the season. But we don’t just have that: we’ve got an amazing group of guys that are going to be in the majors all year. You can’t believe how excited I am to see my boys go out there and play some real ball. I can’t wait to see how good they’re going to be. We don’t know how good they’re going to be, but we know that they’re not going to stink. I don’t see how anyone could think that this season is going to be a bust. Sure, we might not be the best, but we’re going to be good. Really, really good. I can’t wait until it’s real, you know? We’re ready to go.
I keeping a very open mind about this season. I know that we’re going to be good, but I’m not looking for championship. I’m just going to take one game at a time and go from there.
One player that I’m really excited about seeing for the whole season is Chase Headley. I don’t know what happened, but he’s thrived this spring. He has been on fire. I don’t want to believe that the switch back to third had anything to do with it, but maybe it did. I don’t know. He’s hitting .293 with 17 hits and 21 RBIs. He’s really been on fire, and it would be great if he could stay like this for most of the season.
By the way, my boys have 46 stolen bases so far on the spring. Isn’t that incredible? The only team anywhere close would be the Washington Nationals with 35. But man…who would have thought that the SAN DIEGO PADRES would be leading the majors in stolen bases??
Tonight we’re playing the Diamondbacks, which is a bit of a coincidence because we’re going to be playing them again a week from tonight on the bigger stage. I’m soooo excited!!!
Regular season, here we come.
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