The San Diego Padres took the baseball world by storm on Tuesday as they accomplished a blockbuster commerce with the Washington Nationals for younger slugger Juan Soto and power-hitting first baseman Josh Bell. Whereas the commerce deadline deal has but to be finalized, it is not untimely to marvel what sort of group the Padres can now assemble.
However wait, there’s extra: franchise shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is about to start a minor league rehab project quickly. Tatis has missed all the 2022 season to date after struggling a damaged wrist within the offseason, however as soon as he returns, he ought to resume being one of the vital electrifying and productive offensive gamers within the sport. So after we indulge within the daydreams of the Padres’ new lineup, we’ll additionally issue within the eventual presence of Tatis. Now let’s soar in.
Soto first teed off on gap no. 2 this season and has additionally spent vital time as a three-hitter. For his profession, he is hit No. three a number of occasions, however we’ll bow to more moderen traits and name him the Padres’ No. 2 man. Bell, in the meantime, spent roughly the identical period of time in 2022 because the No. 1 hitter. three and cleanliness. As for Tatis, final season he spent nearly all of his time hitting second, cleansing up and main off for the Pads, in that order. With all of that in thoughts — however not owing to all of that — San Diego’s massively upgraded lineup may go one thing like this:
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS (Bats: R)
- Juan Soto, RF (Bats: L)
- Manny Machado, 3B (Bats: R)
- Josh Bell, 1B (Bats: B)
- Jurickson Profar, LF (Bats: S)
- Jake Cronenworth, 2B (Bats: L)
- Nomar Mazara/Wil Myers, DH (Bats: L/R)
- Austin Nola, C (Bats: R)
- Trent Grisham, CF (Bats: L)
For sure, it is an imposing lineup, and it is one that does not hand over the platoon benefit for back-to-back hitters so long as you tweak the underside of the order when Myers is the DH. Tatis’ return means Ha-Seong Kim returns to a utility function and will see a while at DH as properly. It is also value noting that Bell has outscored Eric Hosmer, whom the Padres traded to the Purple Sox in a separate however associated commerce, by a considerable margin each in current historical past and all through their profession. Bell’s main benefit in bat high quality suggests that can proceed to be the case going ahead. We’ll pencil in a Nomar Mazara-Will Myers platoon at DH since Luke Voit arrived in Washington within the commerce. Utility man Brandon Drury, additionally acquired on deadline day, offers supervisor Bob Melvin positional flexibility and a right-handed persist with pair with Cronenworth occasionally or work into the DH combine.
The Padres’ offense this season, earlier than the additions of Soto and Bell and the upcoming return of Tatis, ranked 17th in MLB in runs scored and 20th in OPS. Nonetheless, the run-suppressing nature of their house court docket, Petco Park, should be thought-about. Apply that crucial context and we discover that San Diego’s offense when it comes to OPS was 2.zero p.c higher than the league common. We confer with park- and league-adjusted OPS as OPS+, and the Padres this season are tied for 11th in MLB in that measure. That is a stable exhibiting, and that is earlier than doubtlessly enormous upgrades at three positions.
Talking of which, the SportsLine Projection System estimates that the additions of Soto and Bell added 1.9 wins to the Padres’ outlook for the remainder of the season and improved their probabilities of making the postseason by 11.three p.c. These are substantial numbers contemplating we solely have two months left within the common season.
There’s nearly zero likelihood the Padres can catch the Dodgers (who maintain a 12-game lead) within the Nationwide League West, however they’ve vastly improved their playoff place with their cap contracts and the return of Tatis. Additionally keep in mind that wild-card spots now include a assure of at the very least three sport sequence, not like the previous format. The Padres have been working to enhance their probabilities of going deep into October. This tantalizing new lineup proven above makes them severe threats to just do that this yr.