2022 San Diego Padres
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2022 San Diego Padres / Franchise: San Diego Padres / BR Team Page
Managed by Bob Melvin
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2022 San Diego Padres were coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in team history, as the 2021 edition of the team was expected to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers down to the wire, but after playing well in the first half, completely collapsed down the stretch, finishing well out of a postseason slot. That cost manager Jayce Tingler his job, and he was replaced by one of the most experienced and well-respected skippers in the game in Bob Melvin, who left the Oakland Athletics to join the Friars.
Until 2021, the Padres were known for their inability to have any pitcher throw a no-hitter for them, a curse that was broken by Joe Musgrove that April but that was often blamed on a decision by their first-ever manager, Preston Gomez, to pull Clay Kirby from a game while he was pitching a no-no way back in 1970. Well, in his first two games as the Padres's manager, Melvin was faced with that decision twice: on Opening Day, April 7th, Yu Darvish was perfect through 6 innings, but was replaced, and on April 8th, Sean Manaea went one inning better, with 7 hitless innings before giving way. Both games were against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and while the Padres lost the opener when newly-minted closer Robert Suárez imploded in the 9th, they won the second game, 3-0. There was no huge controversy in either case, however, as teams were coming out of an abbreviated spring training, meaning that both pitchers had clearly reached their pitch count limit of 80 or so when they were taken out. It was particularly important not to play games with Manaea's health, given the Padres had paid a steep price to acquire him, giving up two top prospects to wrest him from the Athletics that spring.
On April 19th, the Padres became the first team to announce a deal with a sponsor to place ads on their uniforms. The Motorola logo will adorn the right or left sleeves of Padres jerseys beginning in 2023, the handedness of the wearer determining which sleeve in order to maximize exposure to cameras. All other teams were expected to follow suit in short order.
On June 16th, after completing a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Padres found themselved alone in first place in the NL West at the latest date since the 2010 season. In the final game of the series, Musgrove tossed his 12th straight quality start since the beginning of the season, something no one had done since Corey Kluber in 2018.
The Padres made a big splash at the trading deadline on August 2nd when they landed the biggest catch available in young Washington Nationals OF Juan Soto, available because he had recently rejected a humongous long-term contract offer from his team. A number of teams were in the running, but the Padres had the prospects to make the deal happen. Also acquiring 1B Josh Bell , who was also having an excellent season, in the trade, they gave up six players, including five top prospects: SS C.J. Abrams, P MacKenzie Gore, OF Robert Hassell, P Jarlin Susana, OF James Wood and 1B Luke Voit. 1B Eric Hosmer was originally included in the deal in Voit's place, but vetoed his inclusion due to his no-trade clause, and the Padres included Voit instead. For his part, Hosmer was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with two minor leaguers in return for P Jay Groome, with San Diego picking up most of his remaining salary. The Padres made two other deals, getting 3B Brandon Drury, having his best season, from the Cincinnati Reds to be their new DH, and also making a shocking swap of closers with the Milwaukee Brewers, landing Josh Hader in return for their own closer, Taylor Rogers and three others, one of whom, P Dinelson Lamet, was immediately designated for assignment by the Brewers. Hader and Rogers were 1-2 in the National League in saves at the time, but both had struggled badly in July.
After all these moved, the Padres were loaded for bear and ready to make a push to reach the World Series, especially as Tatis was about to return from his wrist injury, having started a rehabilitation outing in AA that was going well. And then on August 12th, the Padres got some terrible news as Tatis was handed a suspension of 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance. Not only was he done for the season, but the suspension would extend into the start of the 2023 season as well - for how long depending on how many postseason games the Padres played, as these would be counted as part of the 80 games to be missed. With the Padres having just been swept in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hader continuing to struggle in his first few outings with the team, suddenly the wind of optimism had died down and the post pessimistic among the team's fans were having flashbacks to the awful second-half collapse that had marred the previous season.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Jake Cronenworth, Manny Machado and Joe Musgrove
- NL Gold Glove: Trent Grisham (CF)
- NL Silver Slugger Award: Josh Bell (DH), Brandon Drury (UT) and Juan Soto (OF)
- Ronald Blum (Associated Press): "Padres 1st MLB team to reach uniform ad deal, with Motorola", Yahoo! News, April 19, 2022. 
- AJ Cassavell: "As Padres and Melvin seek first title, a perfect marriage", mlb.com, April 6, 2022. 
- AJ Cassavell: "No second thoughts from Melvin after lifting 2 pitchers amid no-hitters", mlb.com, April 9, 2022. 
- AJ Cassavell: "A first for SD since 2010: 1st place alone in mid-June: June 16th, 2022", mlb.com, June 16, 2022. 
- AJ Cassavell: "Padres nab Wild Card: 'Best moments are yet to come': San Diego lands in postseason while still on the field against the White Sox", mlb.com, October 3, 2022. 
- Joe Trezza: "Padres react to Tatis news: 'We've gotten this far without him'", mlb.com, August 14, 2022. 
- Bernie Wilson (Associated Press): "Padres start season with electrifying Tatis sidelined", Yahoo! News, March 30, 2022.