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NL West Review and Preview: The San Diego Padres

Xander Bogaerts smiles during his introductory press conference with the San Diego Padres.

The Padres were the most disappointing team this season, and it will be hard to improve with a tighter budget.

In the tumultuous journey of the San Diego Padres (82-80) season, the narrative unfolded as a tale of too little, too late. The Padres faced early struggles, grappling with inconsistency and setbacks that marred their performance. April and May bore witness to the team’s challenges, displaying a lackluster performance that hinted at the uphill battle they faced.

However, a late-season surge brought a spark to the Padres’ campaign. In August and September, they ignited, stringing together some victories and showcasing newfound prowess. The late push, while admirable, fell just short of postseason contention. The Padres, despite their 82-80 record, missed the playoffs by a narrow margin.

Looking ahead, optimism abounds for the Padres. With the promise of a fully healthy roster next year, the prospects for improvement loom large. The late-season momentum serves as a beacon of hope, hinting at the potential for a much stronger performance in the upcoming season. As the Padres reflect on the highs and lows of 2023, the anticipation of a healthier and more competitive future prevails, setting the stage for renewed aspirations and the pursuit of postseason glory in the seasons to come.

Month By Month

Spring Training and March

The Padres compiled a 15-14 record across Spring Training before finishing 0-2 in the month of March against the Colorado Rockies. Losing to the last place team was a harbinger of things to come.

April: Promising Start (15-12)

In the early chapters of the San Diego Padres’ 2023 season, April beckoned with promise. A 15-12 record hinted at potential, but uncertainties lingered. Pitching gems and offensive sparks from SS Xander Bogaerts and others marked a promising start, laying the foundation for what was yet to unfold.

May: Struggles Emerge (10-16)

As the calendar flipped to May, the Padres faced unforeseen challenges. A struggling stretch reflected in a 10-16 record exposed vulnerabilities in both pitching and hitting. Inconsistencies marred their performance, signaling a need for adjustments in the quest for stability.

June: Navigating Turbulence (12-15)

June brought a phase of turbulence for the Padres. Navigating the ebb and flow, they concluded the month with a 12-15 record. Moments of brilliance were juxtaposed with setbacks, underscoring the team’s resilience amid the unpredictable rhythm of the season.

Too Little, Too Late

July: Regaining Momentum (15-10)

With July came a pivotal shift in momentum. The Padres rebounded with a 15-10 record, showcasing a recalibration of their strengths. Pitchers found their groove, and hitters displayed renewed prowess, offering a glimpse of the team’s potential to reclaim its footing.

August: Late-Season Struggles (10-18)

August unfolded as a challenging chapter for the Padres. Late-season struggles emerged, resulting in a 10-18 record. Pitching inconsistencies and offensive woes surfaced, testing the team’s resolve and prompting introspection in the pursuit of a turnaround.

September: A Resurgent Finale (19-7)

As the season neared its conclusion in September, the Padres orchestrated a resurgent finale. A spectacular 19-7 record reflected a team hitting its stride at the perfect moment. Pitchers delivered stellar performances, and hitters found timely success, creating a late-season surge that captivated fans and rekindled hope. Unfortunately, they ran out of games and missed the playoffs.

In the tapestry of the Padres’ 2023 season, each month unfolded as a distinct chapter, weaving together a narrative of challenges, adjustments, and moments of brilliance. April’s promise gave way to May’s struggles, and June’s turbulence paved the way for July’s momentum shift. August posed challenges, setting the stage for September’s resurgent finale.

As the Padres reflect on their journey, the late-season surge stands out as a beacon of hope. With a 19-7 record in September, they demonstrated the potential for greatness. The narrative, though marked by twists and turns, concludes with optimism for the future. The Padres, armed with lessons learned, stand poised for renewed aspirations and the pursuit of success in the seasons that lie ahead.


San Diego moved mountains in 2022 by overcoming the Los Angeles Dodgers and reaching the NLCS. The Padres were projected to surge in 2023 but instead took a hard fall-off, playing catch up for much of the season.

A thrilling 19-7 September charge made the standings seem close, but San Diego was never really in contention.

Going forward, I expect the Padres to remain more consistent in the regular season and contend for a playoff spot again. However, the emergence of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the continued dominance of Los Angeles leave little margin for error.

With rising squads in every National League division, someone has to miss the playoffs. San Diego will be one of those teams, especially with the absence of OF Juan Soto.

In a shocking move, the Padres made waves by trading Juan Soto to the New York Yankees. Transitioning from the sunny shores of San Diego to the iconic pinstripes of New York, Soto’s departure sent shockwaves throughout the baseball world. The trade reshaped the dynamics of both teams, leaving fans in anticipation of how this blockbuster deal would impact the upcoming seasons. The echoes of Soto’s time with the Padres lingered, but the trade marked a bold chapter in the ever-evolving narrative of player movement and team strategies in Major League Baseball.

The Padres will keep things interesting for much longer next season. Expect San Diego to remain in the mix down the stretch, but narrowly miss the postseason.

Prediction: San Diego Padres (83-79) miss playoffs

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