Dodgers: Here’s why Padres praise needs to slow down after big trades

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: General Manager A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres makes a call after a game between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres was postponed at PETCO Park on August 26, 2020 in San Diego, California. Several sporting leagues across the nation today are postponing their schedules as players protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: General Manager A.J. Preller of the San Diego Padres makes a call after a game between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres was postponed at PETCO Park on August 26, 2020 in San Diego, California. Several sporting leagues across the nation today are postponing their schedules as players protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Some seem to think the Padres’ moves have ruffled the Dodgers’ feathers, but that’s far from the case.

Sure, Los Angeles Dodgers fans would love if the team answered the San Diego Padres’ trades for Blake Snell and Yu Darvish with a Trevor Bauer signing. That’d be cool. But we can’t expect that with everything else the organization has to worry about.

Plus, when you really think about it, the Padres still have a lot to prove on top of having to address their depleted bullpen, which is expected to lose Kirby Yates, Trevor Rosenthal and Garrett Richards. Yeah, we’d venture to say going into 2021 with Drew Pomeranz as your closer probably isn’t the most foolproof of plans.

When’s the last time anyone saw the Dodgers get absolutely stymied by starting pitching? LA’s lineup is so deep that it typically takes an all-hands-on-deck effort from an opposing team’s staff in order to keep them at bay during a lengthy regular season.

Do we really have to go in and criticize the Padres for all their deficiencies? All of a sudden everyone thinks they’re going to be the team to beat because of two big trades and some positive headlines? Do we have to mention that 2020 was the first time they recorded a winning record since 2010? Let’s see them do that over the course of 162 games.

And how about the rest of the rotation? Mike Clevinger won’t be back until 2022, so the grand plan probably won’t fully be in motion until then. Chris Paddack still has a ton to prove as a starter after getting knocked around in 2020. Dinelson Lamet has made 47 career starts and is now an ace after an impressive 12-game stint in 2020? Give us a break.

What else? Hm, let’s see. Snell, while a great acquisition regardless of how you look at it, isn’t really an ace. Well, that depends how you define an “ace.” Let’s put it this way: Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw are certainly better than him. Snell, out of his 108 career starts, has gone seven innings or more just 13 times and owns a 1.24 WHIP. If we combine his Cy Young campaign with his 2020, he’s 25-7 with a 2.18 ERA in 42 starts. As for the rest? He’s 17-23 with a 3.98 ERA in 66 starts.

Perhaps he was held back by the Rays because of how strict they are with their pitchers and scripting out games. Maybe he gets unleashed by the Pads. Who knows. Regardless, while he’s a great player to have on your team, there’s are still a lot of holes in terms of consistency and reliability.

Snell and Darvish will certainly help take pressure off the bullpen, but the fact that the unit has ranked 14th and 19th in ERA the last two seasons and will be losing key figures show an obvious glaring hole that could affect their success in 2021 unless further significant additions are made.

As for their lineup? Extremely potent, but again, a 162-game grind is a lot different than 60. The Dodgers have proven they’re regular season titans. The Padres? They haven’t won the NL West since 2006. They made the playoffs for the first time in 2020 since 2010.

The Dodgers should respect the moves the Padres have made, but bowing down to them? Yeah, not gonna happen. Let’s see what happens in 2021 first. It’s our season to defend our championship.