Padres Quarter-Season Awards

Who deserves recognition 25% of the way through the season

The Padres had an off day on Monday. They start a 3-game series at Petco Park against the first-place San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. At 17-22 they’re only 4.5 games out of first place and with 39 games under their belt the Friars have basically played one quarter of their season.

Mike Janela, host of Padres Social Hour, asked Bill Center and me to come up with a list of the Quarter-Pole Padres Award winners. Here’s where I stand on the issue. See how many you agree or disagree with:

MVP: Alexei Ramirez

It’s hard to argue with the offensive production of outfielder Matt Kemp. But I’m going with shortstop Ramirez because while his offensive numbers are not anything special, his defense (aside from one drop in Chicago) has been stellar. Last year the Padres were one of the worst fielding teams in baseball. This year they’re in the top-10 in run prevention and Ramirez is a big reason why. It’s especially impressive when you consider he’s the only starting infielder who has not gotten hurt this year and he’s worked with a bunch of different pieces around him without missing a beat.

CY YOUNG: Drew Pomeranz

Remember in Spring Training when we all thought Pomeranz was going to be one of the top relievers on the Padres staff? Yeah, we were wrong. The lefty leads the team in wins (4) and strikeouts (51 in just 40.0 innings) and has only walked 19. Pomeranz has a 1.80 ERA, putting him squarely in the conversation to be the Padres’ representative at the All-Star Game at Petco Park in July. Fernando Rodney also warrants consideration here.

Ryan Buchter

Quick, tell me how the Padres landed Buchter? Don’t worry; I had to look it up, too. Padres General Manager A.J. Preller signed Buchter to a minor league contract in December to very little (OK, no) fanfare. He made the Opening Day roster and has been stellar out of the bullpen, allowing just one run in 19 appearances and that run was a solo homer by Trevor Story in Colorado in April, back when Story was swinging the bat so well he’d have taken the 1985 version of Dwight Gooden deep twice a game. Buchter, who had made just one career appearance in the big leagues prior to 2016, is on a 15.1 inning scoreless streak and got his first MLB save last week in Milwaukee.


And what a pleasant surprise he is. Offensively, defensively, clubhouse presence … you name it and Upton is doing it well. He’s hitting .281 with five home runs and is playing an above-average left field. Upton has stopped all the questions about whether or not he’s worth his big contract and become a player who other teams will likely be asking about acquiring at the trade deadline.


You can’t have as many injuries as the Padres have suffered without feeling it. I think Ross is the one that’s been missed the most. He was supposed to be the team’s ace, the guy who stops the losing streaks, the guy who sets the tone for the entire rotation, and he hasn’t seen the mound since Opening Day. The guys who have filled in, chiefly Robbie Erlin and Cesar Vargas, have done an admirable job but you can’t lose the guy you deem the best pitcher on your entire staff and not feel it. Yangervis Solarte, who was hitting .375 when he went down with a hamstring injury, also gets votes here.

Whoever is in charge of hamstrings

I don’t know what the deal is but this has reached the point of ridiculousness. Try stretching, or drinking more water, or whatever. This has to stop.

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