Is this season over?

The starting pitching staff is officially in shambles. Bauer likely done/gone. May out for season. Kershaw may be OK, but who knows? Urias is in new territory regarding innings pitched. Buehler has also worked harder than ever. Gonsolin is looking better and stronger, so that's looking like a positive. Price isn't coming to the rescue. Forcing Gray or Pepiot or Miller in to a starting role in the bigs seems like a very bad idea.

Bullpen is pretty much as bad, despite Jansen far exceeding expectations [mine at least]. Not sure what we can expect from Graterol, Nelson and Knebel. I guess if they all come back healthy and strong the pen could be pretty good, along with Treinen and Gonzales. But if the current cast of characters need to perform in high leverage situations I think we know how things will go.

The offense has certainly fared better, and when Seager returns it should get a bit better. Bellinger seems to be a lost cause. If you look at his performance since about the mid-point of his MVP season he's struggled. Right now he's not a major league quality hitter. So maybe this team can outslug opponents, but it just doesn't look like it. It seems like they feast on bad pitchers in bad situations, which drives up the run differential, but can't really sustain performance, when clutch hitting and 'small ball' is required.

Should Friedman hit the trade market hard and try to land a couple of sure-to-be over-priced arms? I don't think so. This team just doesn't look like a championship team. I can't see mortgaging more of the future for the longshot of somehow catching lightning in a bottle.

I'd ride it out with the priority on protecting the arms of Kershaw, Buehler and Urias. I'd bring up Ruiz and have him split time with the defensively challenged Will Smith to determine who the #1 catcher is going forward. I'd have Lux take every rep at 2B, to determine if he can make that work before a big contract is signed for a SS. It will suck to not win the West again, and only watch the post season on TV, but I really think that's better than a desperate attempt to keep the goal of repeating alive.

Friedman needs to quickly pivot to thinking about next season and beyond. The Padres will only get better. Bauer's contract is a short-term albatross. Hopefully we won't be saying that Mookie's is the same, but long-term.

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