The Padres are 74-85 as they enter the final series of the season. They would have to sweep the Dodgers to match their 2014 record. Depsite all the massive changes they made last offseason, the club will either have an identical or worse record than the 2014 team.
The front office attempted to stay the course by standing pat at the deadline, but the club continued to struggle and are just 24-32 since August 1. Many critics said it was the wrong path, and it now appears those critical of Padres management were right. They now have this offseason to try to fix the flaws in the makeup the team. Expect changes, but to a lesser degree of the 2014-2015 offseason.
The first major change was the hiring of Don Orsillo, the Red Sox play-by-play man for 15 seasons, which the team announced on Wednesday (Link). As it’s been widely reported, he will do both radio and television broadcasts before taking over for the retiring Dick Enberg in 2016.
Jesse Agler, who was the host of one of the Padres pregame shows “Padres Social Hour” will take over in the radio booth with longtime play-by-play announcer Ted Leitner. Former major league pitcher Bob Scanlan will not be apart of the radio broadcast team. He had a good rapport with Leitner and provided in-game context that will be sorely missed.
With the broadcast booth now overhauled for 2016 and 2017, the team’s focus will shift to who will be the next manager of the Padres. By just listening to local interviews and the media reports on who might become the next manager, I get the sense that Pat Murphy will not be brought back as manager.
According to a report by Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com, there is some interest for former Reds manager Dusty Baker according to baseball people in the industry, but that was quickly downplayed by someone with knowledge of the situation. This individual stated “(Dusty Baker to San Diego) has no legs.”
However, a Ron Washington to San Diego makes a lot more sense given his time with A.J. Preller in the Texas Rangers organization. If Padres’ beat writer Corey Brock from MLB.com had to guess, he would guess that Ron Washington would become the next manager of the Padres.
Finally, coming from a national insider, Jim Bowden listed potential fits in an ESPN.com piece that is insider only: Washington, Alex Cora, Phil Nevin, Eric Wedge, Aaron Boone, Ron Gardenhire, Mark Kotsay and Joey Cora.
Team officials have stated they want someone with experience that can develop talent at the major league level. The team has not excelled at this in nearly a decade and will continue to be in the middle of mediocrity if things don’t change.
Hiring the right manager is step one of the process.
- Matt Kemp (strained and partially torn tendon, Link) is out for the rest of the season. Justin Upton (strained neck, Link) and Wil Myers (wrist, Link) are both likely done for the year. Kemp is projected to be an important bat in the middle of the lineup and should remain right field in 2016. Upton will likely depart via free agency and Myers is projected to take over at either first base or in left field.
- The club was fined an undisclosed amount after holding an illegal international workout this summer, writes Scott Miller of BleacherReport.com. However, Preller is not in any danger of losing his job at this moment.
- Some in the organization like Ian Desmond, who will be a free agent after the season, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune. He fits the mold of the team’s current makeup, a power hitting infielder who is right-handed. However, given his declining offensive numbers and fielding concerns, he might not be the greatest fit.