They had just gotten a taste of first place in the National League West, but now trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by 10.5 games. But no matter what, the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. is looming, which will almost certainly be a boost for the Friars.
“It’s going to be a good show, a good second half,” Manny Machado told MLB Network on the red carpet at the All-Star Game.
But he also has that in mind — rivalry or not, for the Padres to make the big leap many baseball observers have been waiting for, the road runs through LA, the division’s powerhouse for the past decade.
“If we’re going to get where we want to go, we’ve got to come through and we know that,” Machado said of the Dodgers.
The road begins Friday in New York, where the Padres face the NL East leaders. Yu Darvish draws the tough card – Max Scherzer, who returned from an injured oblique before the break. Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove follow during the three-game set.
The team also has questions rearing their heads, and believe it or not, pinpointing the exact date of Tatis’ return from a wrist fracture it’s not the biggest.
Top of the list – a Juan Soto, who, after reportedly turning down a $440 million offer from Washington, is unlikely to remain a National for much longer.
Realistically, could AJ Preller pull off a blockbuster trade for the young slugger, who is as heralded as (or more than) Tatis? (A local sports radio station, 97.3, gave fans a look at the possible future thanks to the All-Star Gameon Twitter)
MLB.com notes that this could happen by the Aug. 2 trade deadline, given the Padres stockpile of rookies and prospects. But how much of that would the team be willing to trade?
Soto or not, Machado can’t carry the team by himself – as evidenced by the Padres’ late June slump that coincided with his ankle injury. So expect Preller to be active.
“It’s no secret, we’ve got to score some more runs here in the second half, and that’s going to be the focus for us the next two weeks,” the Padres’ president of baseball operations told MLB.
Post-Break, Padres Face Mets, While Questions Loom About Tatis’ Return, Soto Sweepstakes Source link Post-Break, Padres Face Mets, While Questions Loom About Tatis’ Return, Soto Sweepstakes