As MLB’s 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Miller to debut:
The Dodgers are reportedly planning to select the contract of top pitching prospect Bobby Miller ahead of this evening’s game in Atlanta. A consensus top-30 prospect in the game entering the season, Miller boasts a 100 mph fastball and has routinely struck out over 30% of batters faced throughout the minors. He’s been off to a shaky start so far in 2023, with a 5.65 ERA across four starts and a strikeout rate of just 19.7% to go with a 9.8% walk rate in a tiny sample of just 14 1/3 innings of work. Shaky start notwithstanding, Miller’s raw talent provides plenty of reason for optimism that he can be an asset to the Dodgers both today and going forward. He’s not currently on the 40-man roster, meaning the club will need to make a corresponding move to free up space for the young right-hander.
2. Gore to face San Diego:
Nationals lefty MacKenzie Gore will face the club that drafted him third overall in the 2017 draft this evening, as the Padres head to Nationals Park for a three-game set. Gore, a longtime top prospect who made his big league debut for the Padres last season, was sent to the Nationals mid-season as part of the blockbuster that brought Juan Soto to San Diego. Now Gore, who sports a solid 3.69 ERA and 3.67 FIP through 46 1/3 innings of work, will face down his former team and their star-studded lineup that includes Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts. This series could prove to be a pivotal one for the Padres. Despite lofty expectations in San Diego, the club enters the series with a 21-26 record that puts them eight games back of their rival Dodgers in the NL West.
3. MLBTR Chat today:
With around 30% of the 2023 campaign now in the books, there’s still a handful of surprise teams in good positions in the standings, and many expected playoff contenders struggling. If the events of the season so far have spurred any questions in your mind about your favorite team or the league as a whole, MLBTR’s Steve Adams is holding a live chat with readers at 1pm CT. You can click here to ask a question in advance, join in live once the chat begins, or read the transcript once the chat is complete.
Given how Soto has panned out in SD so far, I really wonder if the Padres will look back on that trade in 3-5 years and have regret. While an .822 OPS isn’t bad, the Padres need Soto to be superstar Juan Soto not just merely above average Juan Soto.
Soto is rolling over everything. He’s turned his hands over well after they were through the zone. 2022 and this year, he turns them over just after contact. He’s also collapsing his back leg. There’s no power coming through the zone and he’s rolling over the pitches. Eye is still good. Pitch choice is still great.
The tough part is when he hits free agency. Do the Padres double down? Their 2027 payroll is already up to $163M for only 7 players.
Jung Like My Daddy
Cj Abrams hitting .240/.283/.393
If all the Nats get out of the deal is Gore it was a steal for the Padres. Hassell isn’t exactly lighting things up hes doing ok. Woods is doing well in A+.
But we will see where things are couple years from now.
His ops is currently .871 and has a ops+ of 145. He’s doing just fine for san diego.
Abrams is still 22.. obviously hes still a work in progress.
Hassell has had 2 wrist injuries since he was traded.. sapping his present power.. but hes still rocking a .400 OBP in AA as a 21 year old. He looks like a safe MLB contributor.
Wood is a beast.
Padres need to win with Soto now or post double down extension to salvage that.
Soto is the same age as Gore and less than 2 years older than Abrams who is in his age 22 season. .Take a look at Soto’s stats in 2021, his age 22 season.
Since the trade Soto has provided the Padres with 3.4 WAR while Gore and Abrams have provided 1.5 WAR combined. It’s not a particularly close trade at this point and it heavily favors the Padres. That could change and Soto could also regress to his career averages and it would be a moot point.
Time will tell how this all turns out, so let’s revisit it in September of next year.
Of course it ‘favors’ the Padres today on WAR.. they received 2.5 years of a star player…
Longterm it isn’t looking pretty unless they win now or extend him.
With all due respect, you fail to understand how these trades work. A team is either on the prospect side or the veteran side of these trades. Both teams fully understand what they are doing and why – neither can predict the future nor an injury – but they get it.
Trades are supposed to benefit both teams based on their respective goal. If they didn’t, trades wouldn’t ever happen.
So no, they don’t have to extend him to “win” the trade. Improving the chance at WS in 22, 23, or 24 was the goal going into it.
Under your logic, if they extend him for 500 million and they never win a WS did they all of a sudden “win” the trade?
I understand how trades work. I know the goal going into it… Im not the one talking about win/losing trades.. he is.
A trade of this magnitude.. Its certainly not good for the Padres if Soto walks without winning anything in SD and the collective they gave up are 4-5 core pieces of the Nationals roster.. Wood and Hassell will be everyday players by mid 24.
Since he wants to go by WAR… the WAR the Nationals get out of this is definitely going to beat out Sotos… end of 22-24.
You may not realize this but Wood is in A ball right now and Hassell started in A and is struggling in AA after some injuries.
Not really the path to everyday players in the MLB in 12-14 months. Sure they project out a year or 2 later but looking at the odds, how many of those guys that crush in AA or AAA never make it in the show – prospects are suspects.
WADZ, Long term it looks just as good. The Padres are getting a top 20 player, possibly much better. At the current pace those two that have made the Nationals squad will be 9 WAR behind Soto by the end of 2024 when Soto becomes a FA.
If they make it to the majors, Wood and Hassell will not make it before 2025, so anything they bring to the table will be a moot point in terms of grading this trade.
Here is a hard reality about prospects that most people really don’t get. Less than 1 in 5 Top 100 prospects become a MLB average player over their career. That is a 2 WAR player. Less than 5%, 1 in 20, become a 4+ WAR player over their career. 70% of those top 100 prospects make it to the majors in some capacity and that is what most people see. They don’t see former top 10 prospects like Eloy Jimenez or Victor Robles or Nick Senzel or Forrest Whitley or Alex Kiriloff or Brendan Rodgers being a less than 2 WAR player so far. They just see the Vlad Guerrero Jr.
The Nationals got 4 players that had been or were top 100 prospects in that trade. Maybe one of them becomes a MLB average player for their career as a National. At this point my money is on Gore to become that MLB average player. They could have better luck than most teams and two of them become career 2+ WAR players in their time with the Nationals. I liked all 4 of those guys, so its possible. Preller and his staff do an insanely good job at scouting.
You need 2.5 to 3 MLB average players to equal one Juan Soto.
Putting up big new age stats is great, but the Pads need someone who can drive in RUNS. A better indication of the Pads, is to look at their record(21-26), which is only a game up on the rebuilding Nationals and many games behind the frontrunning Dodgers.
We get that you don’t understand WAR. You have proven that multiple times.
Soto leads the Padres at driving in runs. He is doing better than Gore and Abrams combined. Soto alone doesn’t control wins and losses for the Padres. That is a team effort. At 145 OPS+ Soto is the best hitter on the Padres this season. Whatever the win-loss is, its not on him.
OPS in a vaccuum doesn’t tell the story though. He’s walking at a 20% clip. Only 12% of runners on base hAve scored when he’s hit this year which is way down from his number in ‘19-‘21. He’s learned everyone focuses on OPS so singles are bad for his game. Looks to walk over a single so his OBP stays good and walks don’t negatively affect slugging % like a single does. Doesn’t want to hit a single to drive in a run when it will hurt his all important OPS.
No it doesn’t, that is why we have OPS+ and wRC+.
Soto is tied for 16th in XBH in MLB with Shohei Ohtani and two other players. His SLG is 75 points above league average.
He has as many hits as walks. He is on pace for 140 walks and 140 hits.
Only 12% of baserunners have scored when he has come to the plate, not hit. A runner has scored just over 50% of the time he has had a hit, 21 of 41
He has an .871 OPS and 145 OPS+. That would look great in orange and black or in pinstripes.
Just proves that even being 45% better than league average, it still doesn’t help push your team to championship level. Soto’s on pace for the worst strikeout season for his career.
No individual player pushes his team to a championship. The greatest player of our generation has not been able to single-handedly win a championship in Anaheim.
Soto’s worst SO% is better than league average and his OPS+ is top 15 in MLB and climbing. His SO % is just 17.5% in May so far and his OPS+ is 185. Soto is doing his part.
Other than Tatis, the rest of the team is struggling in May. The other players is where the Padres issues lie today. Not Soto.
I was responding to BaseballisLife who said that those numbers would look great in orange and black or in pinstripes.
I said, just having a guy hitting 50% better than league average, doesn’t guarantee success for the overall team.
No individual player does. Baseball is a team sport and it requires a team that is all performing. The Angels have two of the greatest individual players in the sport and have not come close to contending.
And what is your point? Was I responding to you originally when I made my post? Are you just saying you agree with me? LOL!
So I can’t respond to you because you were responding to someone else?
Baseball, Are you an Orioles fan, a Yankees fan, or a Giants fan?
For the record the Padres road uniforms have pinstrips and he can just keep on wearing them – just maybe not at 400 million!
Padres home uni is white with brown pinstripes and brown and mustard lettering. Their road uni is tan with brown pinstripes and brown and mustard lettering. Their alternate uni is solid brown and mustard. . 2 out of 3 have pinstripes.
If Soto keeps playing like he has in May this season, he will get his $400 million and more.
@Pads Fans is it mustard, or gold?
Grandparents retired in Annapolis so spent much of my summers there and going to Orioles games. Grew up a trains ride from NYC so attended lots of Mets and Yankees games as a teen. A Mets game was my first date with my Red Sox fanatic wife.
Not sure what that color is.
I looked it up because I was curious. It is it’s own color in the world of patented and licensed tones. It’s called San Diego Gold.
That is cool. Their own color. In the 80s it was called mustard so I assumed.
If the Padres regret it, Soto is really going to regret turning down that $400 million.
I’d have to agree with you on that. If he performs they are likely to extend. If they won’t, then there is always the Mets!
Soto is still only 24. I think it’s very likely he returns to his 2019 – 2021 levels.
The Padres problem wasn’t trading for Soto. It was giving nearly everyone on the roster an unneeded extension. They have no outs to this roster if they want to hit the eject bottom.
Cue the second-guessing sapsuckers.
Really stoked with how Gore and Gray look so far this season. Glimmer of hope for us depressed Nats heads who watched them unfathomably dump an epic amount of proven talent the past 3 seasons.
Proud to see Knoxville boy Lane Thomas getting the job done as a Washingtonian!
Cannot understand how the Friars are underperforming to this level. So much talent on that team. Haven’t had the chance to watch them much, as I focus more on the dumpster fire if the NL Central. What’s the major problem with that team??
Jung Like My Daddy
Some underperforming (Snell musgrove)
Injuries to SP/RP arms (Suarez Morejon Crismatt)
Manny Machado recently went down after being hit on the hand.
That and they still have trouble hitting LHP.
This trade will take at least 2 years to “grade” and even then, if both sides get a benefit it was still a good trade.
Option #1 – Padres get to a WS in 23 or 24
Option #2 – Padres flip Soto and now the trade takes even longer to grade.
All of this win/lose trade talk 9 months into the trade makes me scratch my head.
Pitching is not the problem – RISP is the problem.
Some pitchers could do better for sure but seriously check the stats overall. They aren’t hitting when RISP at an all time abysmal rate.
Well if I may throw my 2 cents in, the Padres problem is the clubhouse and the makeup of their top talent. No reason to name names, but they aren’t cut from the same cloth as a Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. A good team is built on team chemistry as much as talent, and I say this as a lifelong Giants fan from SF, so this isn’t a Dodger fan here just an observation.
I think the D-Backs and Giants both may give the Pads a run this year.
Just my 2 cents.
Well your 2 cents is as good as anyone else’s.
The reality is there just isn’t any good explanation for this level of futility from those talents.
Chemistry may be the answer.
The fact is they are hitting at an all time worst RISP by a large margin which leads to not scoring runs and losing a bunch of close games.
Now, look at Phillies record last year at this time; Braves in 2021; Nationals in 2019.
The end is not necessarily near – but it may be getting closer!
I question the value of an outsider’s perspective on clubhouse chemistry. We don’t know truly how these players interact with each other.
I get that too. Always hated the bad chemistry / clubhouse guy label on a player.
I took the chemistry to just mean how all players are not gelling together as opposed to a personality issue for a player.
Clearly, they are not sparking each other to higher performance or building off of each other, etc. I think some of the team meeting comments have been related to thinking “team” as opposed to concentrating on individual. I took this to mean, moving a runner instead of swings for the fences or take a few pitches so the next guy sees some, type of comments – not personal bad attitudes.
Team chemistry is a thing and no, outsiders don’t have the ability to gauge it.
Fair enough to wonder about it though when grasping at explanations.
.189/.289/.322/.611 with a 64 OPS+
That is the Padres slashline with RISP. The worst in MLB.
That is their biggest issue. They are pressing at the plate and everyone wants to be a hero and hit the bomb with RISP instead of taking what they are pitched and passing the baton if they don’t get a pitch they can drive.
If their BA with RISP was the league average of .254, the Padres would have 24 more hits and scored at least 32 more runs. They have lost 14 games that were decided by 1 or 2 runs, so they would have won at least a few more of those.
I don’t watch enough Padres games to tell if they are pressing with RISP, but those numbers sure are depressing.
I did watch the first 2 games against the Red Sox and the Padres hitters did seem like they were trying to hit a HR on every pitch they swung at. It also seemed like they were not being agressive on pitches in the zone early in the count. The Red Sox pitchers had a lot of 0-1 and 0-2 counts in that series
You must watch more games than I do. Has their whole season been like that?
Pretty much. Take a look at the Reddit board for the Padres and you will see a people there have talked about how often they let strike one down the middle of the plate get by them without taking a hack.
Soto has really picked up since Tatis returned, but the rest of the team has fallen off. I can see the symptoms of the disease, but not sure what the cure is.
Pads Fan –
If you were responding to me, check out my post above where I specifically stated RISP at an all time abysmal rate is the reason for the poor record.
Like another poster above, I may be get confised because I can’t tell if you are just saying what I have already said above after the fact in a different way or if you are disagreeing with me because you didn’t see what I said earlier.
If I’m off, apology in advance.
Longtime, I was responding to Kripes. When I scrolled down I saw you had said pretty much the same thing I did. No apologies necessary. You are on point. I just hadn’t seen your comment when I posted.
So are the Padres an even worse-run team than the White Sox?
hitting with runners in scoring position – yes and it’s not even close. They currently hold the lowest recorded RISP in history from what I have seen reported.
The Padres may have already broken a record for failing to score a man on second with no outs. Even in their last win, they were 1-10 with RISP and failed to score twice with a runner on second and no outs. They are so poor in getting productive outs. They need to think a bit more ‘small ball’ and as has been said by many posters, stop trying to hit a 5 run homer with 2 strikes and start swinging at the 0-0 or 1-0 meatball.
My interpretation/ hope of the recent meetings is exactly what is being discussed – move ‘‘em over get ‘Em in. Watch a few pitches to let the next guy get an advantage, etc.
Washington beyond the players they got – They got a player to “try out” in Meneses which has shown more success at the plate than Soto – I doubt Meneses would have had much of a look without this trade.