Series 6 Pack: San Diego Padres

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Fresh off another series win over the Milwaukee Brewers, the Red Sox welcome the San Diego Padres to town for a 3 game set beginning tonight over at Fenway Park.  It’s the first look at the Padres since they traded Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, who will be facing his former team for the first time. 

This series will also give Red Sox Nation a first glimpse at Anthony Rizzo, the highly touted prospect who was a key piece in making the Gonzalez deal work.

The Red Sox enter tonight’s game with a record of 43-28 and sit in first place in the AL East, 1.5 games ahead of the rival New York Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Padres have a record of 30-43 and sit in last place in the NL West, 9.5 games out of first.

Thanks to Ernie from the Fansided site Chicken Friars, who was kind enough to answer this series “6 pack” and provide some insight to the San Diego Padres.

1.       Anthony Rizzo is creating hype with his Major League debut.  How excited are Padre fans about Rizzo and the other prospects that the club received for Gonzalez?

Rizzomania swept across Padre nation as soon as he was called up. We were rooting for the kid while he was down on the farm and he was tearing the league up for Triple-A Tucson. He has come up and struggled in the offense, but we still hold high hopes on his potential for the future. He is getting his major league at bats now and learning how to hit major league pitching.

P Casey Kelly is doing well in Double-A San Antonio and was just selected to the All-Star game. He has a bright future for the squad but we don’t expect to see him on the major league roster till next season at the earliest. 

2.       Gonzalez is enjoying a great season in Boston and is hitting like he did in San Diego.  In your opinion, did the Padres get enough in return for Adrian?

We all knew that Gonzo was going to KILL IT for you all and we knew that we were not going to be able to sign him for the amount that he wanted, so we needed to sell him for what he could. Jed Hoyer felt that he knew the prospects out of Boston well from his days working there and he felt like he made a good move.

Currently, we can’t really evaluate our side of the trade till we see the guys up on our team. We just hope that Rizzo impresses at the major league level and Kelly comes up soon.

3.       While the series isn’t in San Diego, what is the feeling like with Padres fans about seeing your team play Gonzalez for the first time since the trade?

We still love Gonzo out here and we are excited to see him. A few fans even made the trip out to Boston to support the team and see Gonzo. Unfortunately, we know his talents and are also afraid that he is going to tear us to pieces. We are ready and he still is a San Diego favorite.

4.       How far away is the Padres club from contending for the NL West division?

Sitting in last place and playing the kind of ball that we have been playing, it is hard to see us contending any time soon. We have to make smart decisions in the offseason with free agents and just hope that we get some luck down the line. Last year’s surprise season is the only thing that gives the team hope for pulling something out and contending again.

5.       If you were the Padres GM, what moves would you make prior to the July 31 trade deadline?

I would look to trade Heath Bell to bring in a bat on the team. He can bring us the best pieces back in a trade and we have a lot of bullpen depth behind him. I would also shop Ryan Ludwick around to teams that are in search of a right handed bat in the outfield.

6.       Sitting in last place in the division, what positives have the Padres shown this year that excites the fans for the future?

We have a lot riding on Anthony Rizzo and his potential. We really hope that he is able to handle all the pressure that we have been putting on his shoulders. We    like the future of Cameron Maybin in center field and we love our young pitchers Mat Latos and Tim Stauffer. We have some pieces that we like and hopefully we can build on it.

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