With one month to go until the playoffs, the Dodgers and Padres have completely different mindsets on how to approach the final month of the season. Los Angeles has a 9.5 game lead in the division while San Diego trails them by 18. Joe Lanek of Gaslamp Ball recently took the time to answer a couple questions for True Blue LA about the Padres. Here are his answers:
DAVID: Who are the Padres' MVP, ROY, and Cy Young as of now?
JOE: Will Venable gets the nod for MVP, but it was looking like it'd be Everth Cabrera before his season got cut short by suspension. Even before his ridiculously productive August, Venable had been showing signs of becoming the player everyone had hoped he would for years. With injuries to Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, and others, Will has been pressed into more service and made the most of it, hitting lefties as well as righties like never before. His 20 HR are a new career high and he's five steals away from the first 20/20 season by a Padre since Mike Cameron in 2006.
JOE: Jedd Gyorko is without a doubt our ROY. He has put up solid offensive numbers and silenced questions about his glove at second. The Mountaineer is also leading all MLB rookies in HR despite being sidelined for about a month.
JOE: The team Cy Young Award would go to Andrew Cashner just for lack of anyone else to give it to. He's been good but not great in his first season as a full-time starter, although he has his moments of brilliance that give hope for years to come.
DAVID: Looking back, do you wish San Diego traded Chase Headley?
JOE: As much as I like the guy, it looks now like they should have when they had the chance to get the world for him. But, you know what they say about hindsight; it's like Mike Cameron's 2006 season.
DAVID: Should the Padres have made more moves at the trade deadline?
JOE: No, I think they did well. The team had no need for rentals and would have been selling low to let Headley go at that point. There was chatter around Luke Gregerson, Will Venable, and Chris Denorfia but all three are under team control for next year and the latter two have more value to the Padres than they would elsewhere.
DAVID: Speaking of the deadline, did you like the Ian Kennedy trade?
JOE: Absolutely. It seemed like the perfect move for a team looking toward next year and the price was right. Even with the fences moved in, San Diego is the perfect spot for a wayward pitcher to get back on track. Pitching coach Darren Balsley and manager Bud Black, formerly a pitcher and a pitching coach himself, are notorious miracle workers.
DAVID: Earlier this season, San Diego looked like a dark horse contender when Los Angeles was slumping. What happened?
JOE: The smoke cleared and the mirrors broke. But, in seriousness, the fall has been a combination of injuries and logical regression, with a dash of bad luck thrown in to make up for the bounces that went our way when everything was smooth sailing.
DAVID: Over the last couple years, the Padres have had some pretty high draft picks (2011 - 10, 2012 - 7, 2013 - 13). Who do you think is the most promising prospect between the three?
JOE: Hunter Renfroe, this year's top pick, seems the most promising to me. Part of that is because putting faith in pitching prospects terrifies me, especially after the 82 Tommy John surgeries our young arms have undergone recently, but it's mostly because Renfroe is an exciting player who can make an impact with his bat, glove, and arm.
DAVID: Switching back to Headley, he has been dealing with a stiff back the last couple days. Do you think San Diego should just rest him the rest of the season?
JOE: It seems to be just a temporary thing, so I'd like to see him back out there whenever he's ready to be. It'd be nice for him to go out on a high note after such a disappointing year. I wouldn't be adverse to Bud Black giving him an extra day off here or there, though.
DAVID: What about Carlos Quentin? Should they rest him the rest of the season?
About an hour after I got these questions, the Padres made it official that he'd be out for the rest of the season. I like the move; this way he can get his knee surgery out of the way early and be ready for the beginning of next season and possibly even reach the 90 games played mark.
DAVID: Series prediction?