SAN DIEGO — The Padres are in.
And now comes the onerous half.
San Diego clinched its place within the postseason when the Brewers fell, 4-3 in 12 innings, to the Marlins on Sunday afternoon. That provides the Padres 5 days to arrange for what comes subsequent.
“Now we’re previous the season,” stated Padres supervisor Bob Melvin. “We’ve got a very good group of men that I feel have lastly settled in right here. I consider our greatest work is but to come back.”
This is a take a look at a few of the Padres’ most urgent postseason questions:
What may the postseason roster appear to be?
The Padres’ lineup and rotation plans must be easy sufficient. However there are some fascinating questions on the fringes of the crew’s playoff roster. And, in October, generally these position gamers could make all of the distinction.
The bench is skinny and flawed. The Padres haven’t got a real left-handed-hitting weapon to make use of in a pinch-hit spot. In the meantime, within the bullpen, the Padres should determine what number of relievers to hold — and whether or not they need to maintain No. 5 starter Sean Manaea for lengthy reduction.
This is one guess at how they will line up:
C: Austin Nola, Jorge Alfaro, Luis Campusano
1B: Brandon Drury, Josh Bell
2B: Jake Cronenworth
SS: Ha-Seong Kim
3B: Manny Machado
OF: Juan Soto, Jurickson Profar, Wil Myers, Trent Grisham, José Azocar
SP: Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Mike Clevinger
RP: Josh Hader, Luis García, Robert Suarez, Nick Martinez, Pierce Johnson, Tim Hill, Adrian Morejon, Steven Wilson, Craig Stammen
9 relievers means it is unlikely the Padres would carry an additional bench bat like Brandon Dixon. Clevinger, in the meantime, makes the roster in case of emergency, although he presumably would not be scheduled to begin a recreation till the NL Division Sequence.
What’s the postseason schedule?
Every Wild Card Sequence will happen Oct. 7-9, with recreation instances but to be introduced. The winners of these collection advance to the five-game Division Sequence, with the NLDS scheduled for Oct. 11-16, together with an off-day on Oct. 13. (There could be no off-day between Video games 4 and 5.)
Whom will the Padres play?
The Padres know this for sure: They’re going to be on the highway for his or her three-game Wild Card Sequence subsequent weekend. Now it is merely a matter of discovering out the place they’re headed.
They at present maintain a one-game lead over Philadelphia for the second Wild Card spot, which might see the Padres end because the NL’s No. 5 seed. Meaning a visit to both Atlanta or New York — whichever fails to win the NL East.
If the Phillies had been to move the Padres within the season’s last days, it will see the Padres fall to the No. 6 seed and a matchup with the NL Central-champion Cardinals. This is how the Padres have fared in opposition to their three potential opponents:
N.Y. Mets: 4-2
St. Louis: 2-4
How do the Padres align their pitching?
They’d’ve partied for any clinch. However the truth that they had been capable of clinch with three days to spare must be additional trigger for celebration. The Padres can now align their rotation as they need for the Wild Card Sequence.
Yu Darvish would presumably begin Recreation 1, pitching with six days’ relaxation. (Darvish was lined as much as begin the crew’s regular-season finale, however the early clinch will enable the Padres to push him again.) Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove, doubtless in that order, would pitch Video games 2 and three.
If the Padres had been to advance to the NL Division Sequence, they’d have Clevinger lined as much as begin Recreation 1. But when they may win the Wild Card Sequence in two video games, they may save Musgrove for Recreation 1 earlier than turning to Darvish on regular relaxation in Recreation 2.
Any accidents of be aware?
Knock on wooden, however the Padres enter the postseason comparatively wholesome. They have been with out relievers Austin Adams and Drew Pomeranz all season, so their absences do not notably sting. Fernando Tatis Jr., serving his 80-game suspension after a constructive check for performance-enhancing medicine, is unavailable as properly.
However Pierce Johnson is again from his elbow damage, and Craig Stammen has returned from shoulder bother. Each have regarded comparatively sharp since their return.
What’s left to play for within the common season?
Actually, not a complete lot. There are playoff roster spots up for grabs. Relievers will probably be trying to earn high-leverage roles. Within the lineup, there are beginning jobs up for grabs at designated hitter and in heart area.
However by way of crew targets, there’s not an excessive amount of distinction between ending fifth and sixth within the NL. Actually, some have argued the No. 6 spot presents a neater path, as it will imply the Padres may keep away from the first-place Dodgers till the NLCS, ought to each groups advance that far.
What selections are left to be made?
Listed below are 4 essential ones:
1. The Padres have not locked of their postseason rotation simply but. As talked about above, it will presumably be Darvish-Snell-Musgrove, however till these plans are finalized, it is a choice value watching.
2. What occurs at DH? The Padres’ lineup depth is troubling — largely as a result of Bell has struggled since his arrival through commerce. If his struggles persist via the top of the season, would the Padres choose to begin Wil Myers as an alternative, saving Bell’s switch-hit bat for a pinch-hitting position?
3. Who begins in heart area? Trent Grisham has struggled on the plate all season, however these days his efficiency has dipped even additional. The Padres have began the righty-hitting José Azocar in opposition to lefties. Nevertheless it’ll be fascinating to see if he’d get the chance in opposition to some very robust right-handed pitching within the playoffs.
4. Josh Hader has reestablished himself because the nearer, which provides the Padres loads of choices for the center innings. However who will get the highest-leverage spots? Tim Hill has locked down his place because the go-to lefty. However the Padres can have some selections to make from the correct aspect. Robert Suarez, Luis García, Johnson and Nick Martinez are all vying for essential playoff innings.