From esteemed reader LynchMob comes this excellent idea for a post on the eve of Opening Day: “provide us with a list of questions which you want us, the commenters, to go ‘on the record’ with”; he then poses several questions, which you will find below.
This might be fun to peek back at throughout the season. I’ll lead off with my responses; feel free to follow…
- How many wins for the Padres in 2008?
They’ll go 86-76.
- Is this 2008 team better or worse than the 2007 team? Why?
About the same. Randy Wolf and Tadahito Iguchi should represent upgrades over David Wells and Marcus Giles, while Jim Edmonds won’t produce like Mike Cameron.
- Where will they finish in the NL West?
- What are their chances of making the playoffs? Winning a playoff series? Winning it all?
They have about a 35-40% chance of making the playoffs. After that, who knows? I’ll say 15-20% chance of winning a series, and 3% chance of winning it all.
- What player(s) do you think is most likely to exceed expectations?
- What player(s) do you think is most likely to disappoint?
- Is there a move (or 2 or 3) which you wish the Padres had made this offseason? Explain what you think will actually happen in 2008 compared to what you would have projected to happen if they had made that move (or 2 or 3).
More help for the back of the rotation; Livan Hernandez or Kyle Lohse would have been nice. A better contingency plan for center field. Not sure those would be enough for the Padres to win the division, but they might mean the difference between winning the wild card or not.
- What minor leaguers do you expect to make a contribution to the 2008 Padres?
Chase Headley, possibly Wade LeBlanc and/or some relievers (Will Startup? Mauro Zarate?)
- When will Chase Headley get called up? Will he stick? Will he get ROY votes? What are his chances for NL ROY?
He’ll be up mid-May and it will be for good. Even if he plays well, he won’t get ROY consideration because most voters either don’t know or don’t care about park effects.
- Who will be the first Padre to be released? When?
Wil Ledezma. April 28.
- What kind of in-season trades do you think the Padres will make? Any in April?
They might acquire more pitching depth if possible. If Edmonds’ injuries linger, depending on how well Hairston performs in center, they might make a play there as well.
- Any players you don’t expect to be healthy for a full season (besides Edmonds)?
Brian Giles and Wolf are obvious choices. I also have concerns about Heath Bell because of last year’s workload. I hope I’m wrong; the Padres need him.
- Do you have any clear picks for division winners? Pennant winners? World Champion?
Red Sox, Tigers, Mariners, Mets, Cubs, Diamondbacks. Wild cards are Indians and Phillies. Arizona beats Detroit in the World Series.
Those are mine. What are yours?