With the conclusion of the 2018 MLB season, the Game Haus will be taking a look at each MLB team and their needs for the next season. We will also be looking at how addressing these concerns could help in the near future.
Today, we will conclude this series with the teams in the NL West.
Offseason Needs: San Diego Padres
2018 Result: 66-96, 5th in NL West
The San Diego Padres, it seems, are still fighting to stay relevant. They have not had a winning season since 2010, along with not making the playoffs since 2006. The best part of this past regular season was the emergence of a potential power hitter in Christian Villanueva. Other than that, the numbers across the board have been less than productive. Only two teams have cashed in fewer RBIs and two more have lower batting averages as a team than San Diego in 2018. Their pitching and fielding aren’t significantly better. The Padres front office will need to make big changes to give Padres fans ANYTHING to cheer about, even if it includes changes in the front office personnel.
Offseason Needs: San Francisco Giants
2018 Result: 73-89, 4th in NL West
San Francisco, not long ago, has racked up three World Series pennants in a five-season span. Now, they are in the middle of a very thorny patch. Offensively, San Francisco couldn’t set up a good display of fireworks. They ranked 29th in the majors in both team in RBIs and home runs by a team (both behind Miami). Not to mention they recorded the sixth lowest batting average by a team. Their pitching and fielding are okay all things considering. But the near-complete lack of offense cannot be ignored for much longer. They will need to bring bigger bats on board to get back into World Series winning form.
Offseason Needs: Arizona Diamondbacks
2018 Result, 82-80, 3rd in NL West
It was anyone’s game for dominance in the NL West, and Arizona was in that race. Unfortunately, they started to slip up at the worst times, making way for the Rockies and the Dodgers. Coming into 2019, their pitching roster has become a foundation to build upon. Last season, the Diamondbacks have turned into one of the most feared pitching crews in the league, boasting the fourth lowest team ERA. Not to mention their fielding defense was among the sharpest in baseball. Their offense, however, will be the most attention this off-season. Plus, Paul Goldschmidt’s days with Arizona are not infinite. Several players will have to rise to the occasion to give number 44 some slack.
Offseason Needs: Colorado Rockies
2018 Result: 91-72, 2nd in NL West, Eliminated in NLDS
The Colorado Rockies took a big step in the right direction this past season. Plus, the emergence of Trevor Story and Kyle Freeland helped Colorado move onto October. However, the Rockies should be eyeing to expand on the progress they’ve made even further. Colorado will need to train more aces to establish a more imposing presence on the mound. Plus, the more pitchers get their names out there, the less pressure Freeland will deal with later. More names should be rising in the batter’s box as well. Yes, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story were a terrible trio. But more can, and should, be hungry to put some big numbers.
Offseason Needs: Los Angeles Dodgers
2018 Result: 92-71, 1st in NL West, World Series Runner-Up
There is not a whole lot to say on what Los Angeles Dodgers need to improve for 2019. They came back from an uncharacteristically slow start to play in the World Series back-to-back times. However, LA faced a Boston Red Sox team that had more weapons than they knew what to do with. For 2019, the Dodgers should emphasize getting on base even more, besides just going for the home run. What made Boston’s offense ruthless was their ability to fill up the bases and not rely so much on going yard to put runs on the board. Los Angeles might want look into ramping up their batting average, to further add to their National League-leading home runs and RBI count. If they can make team batting average even higher than the .250 of this past season, then next year’s World Series will be as good as theirs.
Featured image courtesy of Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports ORG
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