The Padres got CRAZY last year. I mean nuts. Of course I’m referring to their adoption of a hint of yellow to their standard blue and white uniforms which, before then, led the league in genericness for several years running.
Seems that was a bit too much for some people, however, because they just got rid of the yellow and have reverted to their old generic selves. The best part: a video with comically dramatic music to announce a uniform change that I bet 95% of the public would have no idea was actually a change unless they were told it was:
Kudos for keeping the weekend throwbacks, I suppose, but as I and many others have argued time and again, the Padres refusal to embrace their franchise’s uniform history is one of the more perplexing things around. They need to bring back the brown.
And no, not in the same way they did back in the 70s. They could totally embrace the brown in a modern way that would (a) look great; and (b) be truly unique in baseball’s bland world of mostly red, white and blue. We’ve highlighted John Brubaker’s work along these lines before, but in case you’ve never seen it:
The bottom right mockups are so, so good looking. And the only people who think this would be a bad idea, apparently, happen to run the San Diego Padres. Why that is, I have no idea.
To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.
So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”
When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.
Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.