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The struggling Padres welcome Xander Bogaerts' former team to town

Can the Padres turn things around around the Red Sox this weekend?

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend in Los Angeles, and even worse they went home for a three-game set against Kansas City Royals and lost two out of three. In the final game against the Royals, the Padres left the bases loaded twice with fewer than two outs and stranded a total of 12 baserunners.

But wait, there’s more. On top of losing that series to the Royals, the Padres could lose Manny Machado for an unspecified amount of time thanks to a small fracture in his hand—he was hit by a pitch on Monday, and the initial x-rays were negative, but he sat out both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games. The team said the swelling has gone down, and Machado has a better range of motion in the hand, but losing him to an IL stint is the last thing the 20-24 Padres need.

And things don’t get easier for them as they welcome Xander Bogaerts' former team, the Boston Red Sox, into town for a three-game set starting on Friday night.

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Lauren Willand of Locked On Red Sox and Javier Reyes of Locked On Padres recorded a crossover episode to discuss the meeting of the 24-20 Sox and 20-24 Padres.

Boagerts is obviously the big story heading into this series. So far, in 2023, he’s batting .275/.374/.431 with six home runs in 43 games. Last season at this time, he had four home runs, but his batting line was .318/.389/.448 in 43 games. So he’s hitting for more power this season but was hitting more in 2022. But he’s really struggling in May—to be fair, so are the Padres. He’s hitting .208/.323/.264, and his groundball rate has increased.

Reyes joked, “For those unfamiliar, you’re constitutionally required, when joining the Padres, to become Eric Hosmer. You have to hit the ball into the ground (and) you’re not allowed to do anything else.”

But the other big story is how the Padres have underachieved in the first two months of the 2023 season. Willand asked, “So what is going on with the Padres? I feel like they should be a better team than their record shows.” And isn’t that what most people around baseball are wondering about the Padres? And Reyes’ answer wasn’t pretty. “They’re 30th in batting average. They’re 27th in runs scored. They’re on base is 18th, which is somehow the best thing about the team. Home runs, 19th, slugging 24th.”

When you hear those numbers, it’s not difficult to imagine why the Padres are having a hard time thus far this season, but when you look at who is on the roster, you have to wonder if something behind the scenes needs to change in order to get this team to perform better.

It’s never a guarantee that a team will be successful if it spends a lot of money, but the players San Diego has spent their money on are talented All-Star and MVP-caliber players who just can’t seem to get it together, at least in the early going of this season. The good news for the Padres is they still have plenty of time to turn things around. But if they don’t turn things around soon, it will get late and early, and something will need to change.

BE SURE to listen and subscribe to Locked On Padres and Locked On Red Sox wherever you find your podcasts! 

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