Manager: Andy Green (2nd year)
Last 10 games: 4-6
Who to watch: 1B Wil Myers (.271/.321/.521 with 11 HR, 29 RBIs), 3B Ryan Schimpf (.163/.399/.422 with 11 HR, 21 RBIs) CF Manuel Margot (.259/.305/.389 with 13 RBIs, 5 SB), RHP Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74 ERA), RHP Brandon Maurer (6.63 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 5 saves)
Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (4-3 in 2016)
May 26: RHP Luis Perdomo vs. RHP Max Scherzer, 7:05 p.m., MASN
May 27: LHP Clayton Richard vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg, 4:05 p.m., MASN
May 28: RHP Jhoulys Chacin vs. RHP Joe Ross, 1:35 p.m., MASN
The Padres have a firm hold on the cellar in the National League West, and it isn't hard to see why. They are collectively hitting .221, dead last in the National League. They are, correspondingly, bringing up the rear in total hits. They're posting next-to-last numbers for runs, on-base percentage, OBP and OPS. And that's just the situation on offense. The Padres have allowed more runs - 260 - than any other NL club, and team ERA stands at 4.82, 13th in the league. They rank 11th in fielding percentage and 13th in total errors.
Much of whatever offense the Padres have produced has come from first baseman Wil Myers. In addition to his team-leading 11 homers and 29 RBIs, Myers has hit 11 doubles and two triples. He broke out of an 0-for-16 slump Wednesday, going 2-for-5 with a game-tying single that helped the Padres overcome a four-run deficit and beat the Mets 6-5. Myers also has four stolen bases. Manuel Margot, the Padres' 22-year-old center fielder, leads the club in steals with five, but over the past two weeks his batting average has slid from a high of .285 to .259. Second baseman Yangervis Solarte is the team's second-best RBI man, with 24. Third baseman Ryan Schimpf qualifies as the club's offensive curiosity. He's batting a dismal .163, but of his meager 22 hits this season, half are home runs, tying him with Myers for the team lead.
Righty Luis Perdomo, who starts Friday's opener, has little to show for his seven starts this season, posting an 0-1 record to go with his 5.79 ERA. Although Perdomo had gone six innings in four straight prior starts, he lasted just three in his last game, a dreadful outing in which he gave up eight runs on 11 hits to the Diamondbacks. Left-hander Clayton Richard (3-5, 4.31 ERA), Saturday's starter, has been a mixed bag, but turned in a gem his last time out, going the distance against Arizona while giving up just one run. Sunday's starter is veteran Jhoulys Chacin, who spent five seasons and change with the Rockies. He hasn't wowed anyone this year with his .500 record and lackluster ERA. However, he seems to like Nationals Park, where he owns a 0.45 ERA in three career starts.
The Padres could be on the verge of a closer controversy. Designated ninth-inning man Brandon Maurer has saved five games while suffering two blown saves and posting an ERA that doesn't inspire much confidence. Setup man Brad Hand (2.00 ERA, four holds), meanwhile, has been the club's most consistent bullpen pitcher. Manager Andy Green gave Hand the ball for the ninth in the Padres' wins over the Mets on May 24 and 25. Hand recorded saves in both, while Maurer gave up two hits and a run in the eighth inning of yesterday's game in New York. Green has so far declined to give Hand the closer role outright, though, saying instead that both Hand and Green would get chances to close, depending on the situation. Circumstances, however, could render the question moot. The San Diego Union-Tribune, citing unnamed sources, reports this morning that the Padres have begun trade talks with a number of clubs, and that Hand figures prominently in those discussions.