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2008 San Diego Padres Preview

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2008 San Diego Padres Preview

Jake Peavy won the National League Cy Young Award in 2007.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Spring training site

Peoria, Ariz.

2007 record

89-74, third in NL West, lost one-game tiebreaker playoff to Colorado

New faces

1B Tony Clark (free agent, Diamondbacks); CF Jim Edmonds (trade, Cardinals); 1B-OF Robert Fick (free agent, Nationals); 2B Tadahito Iguchi (free agent, Phillies); LHP Glendon Rusch (free agent, Mets)RHP Mark Prior (free agent, Cubs); LHP Randy Wolf (free agent, Dodgers)

Biggest offseason acquisition

There are bigger names on the list, but the underrated Iguchi should fill a need at what was a problem position last season. Marcus Giles hit .229 and Geoff Blum didn't do much better (.252). Both moved on the offseason. Iguchi needs to get on base to be effective – not a strong suit (.347 in big-league career) – but he also hit 18 homers in 2006 and was effective down the stretch after being traded to the Phillies at the deadline last season.

Gone but not forgotten

Mike Cameron made a lot of highlight plays in center field, but hit just .242 last season. He left for Milwaukee and will likely be replaced by another “SportsCenter” regular in Jim Edmonds, who will turn 38 this season and seems to be battling injury a lot these days.

Spring training battles

Scott Hairston (.243, 11 homers last season) will probably man one outfield position, but he'll be pushed by rookie Chase Headley, who hit .330 with 20 homers in Double-A last season. And all eyes will be on Prior, who will attempt to join a strong starting rotation. If he's healthy - which hasn't been the case for three years - the Padres could have a steal.

Projected lineup

  • LF Brian Giles
  • 2B Tadahito Iguchi
  • 1B Adrian Gonzalez
  • SS Khalil Greene
  • CF Jim Edmonds
  • 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
  • LF Scott Hairston
  • C Josh Bard
  • Pitcher

Projected starting rotation

Projected bullpen

  • RHP Trevor Hoffman (closer)
  • RHP Heath Bell
  • RHP Cla Meredith
  • RHP Kevin Cameron
  • LHP Justin Hampson
  • LHP Glendon Rusch

Biggest strength

2007 Cy Young winner Peavy and Young are two All-Stars at the top of the rotation and will be counted on again, and the seemingly ageless Maddux (14-11 in 2007, 347 career wins) continues to be effective entering his 23rd big-league season. If Wolf and Prior come through, this rotation is every bit as good as the Diamondbacks or the Mets.

Glaring weakness

Like their division rivals in Arizona, this lineup could have a hard time scoring runs, especially in the spacious Petco Park. And unlike the Diamondbacks, this team isn't all that young, either. Iguchi and Edmonds should help, but they're not significant upgrades. Khalil Greene would not be a No. 4 hitter on many other teams.

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