Miguel Tejada, Ryan Ludwick Have Changed The San Diego Padres

August 16, 2010 – 11:26 pm by Ryan Phillips

The San Diego Padres have been the most consistent team in the National League all season long. After Monday night’s 9-5 win over the Chicago Cubs made the Padres the first team to reach 70 wins in the NL. They are currently 23 games over .500 and lead the San Francisco Giants by four games in the NL West.

But until two and a half weeks ago, the Padres were missing a huge element: legitimate threats surrounding All-Star Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup. Thanks to two deals near the July 31 trade deadline, the San Diego has that.

When the Friars picked up Miguel Tejada from the Orioles on July 29, not much was made of the deal. In fact, most experts said that the addition of a 36-year-old guy who couldn’t play shortstop anymore was an average get at best.

Since showing up with the Padres Tejada has typically hit in front of Gonzalez in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. In the 16 games he has played in San Diego Tejada is hitting .313, with one home run, eight RBI, 11 runs scored, a .361 on-base percentage and is slugging .418. And that’s after a slow start. Tejada has been on fire lately, evidenced by his 4-for-5 performance against the Cubs last night.

Combine the addition of Tejada with the shrewd pickup of slugging right fielder Ryan Ludwick and you’ve got quite a tandem.

Ludwick was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals and all the Padres had to give up was Corey Kluber, a decent minor league pitcher without much of a ceiling. Ludwick has stepped in to the cleanup spot in the lineup and has provided more protection for Gonzalez.

Since the trade Ludwick has hit .272 with three home runs, nine RBI, three doubles and is carrying an OBP of .333, while slugging .490.

Yes, those numbers aren’t crazy, off-the-charts great, but those two additions have changed the entirety of the Padres’ lineup.

Chase Headley, who was a square peg in a round hole in the cleanup spot, has flourished since taking over the No. 5 spot in the lineup. Meanwhile, teams have had to pitch to Gonzalez out of fear that Ludwick could make them pay for putting him on base.

Those two moves have also added more of what the Padres have had loads of all year long: confidence. They now know they have more than one guy in the lineup who can hurt opponents every time up.

Tejada and Ludwick are also known to be two of the best clubhouse guys in baseball. Unlike, say, a guy like Jose Guillen, they haven’t (and won’t) have any trouble fitting into their new clubhouse. Their new teammates have raved about them.

Since August 1, the Padres are 10-5, and have won seven of their last eight ballgames. They currently have the best record in the National League by 1.5 games over the Atlanta Braves.

When taking all of those factors into account, you have to believe that the Padres were the ultimate winners at baseball’s trade deadline. While bigger names were acquired – Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee (sort of a deadline deal) – the Friars might have made the moves with the biggest impact on their team.

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  1. 7 Responses to “Miguel Tejada, Ryan Ludwick Have Changed The San Diego Padres”

  2. You must be out of your mind if you think ryan ludwick and miguel tejada are a bigger deadline win than getting cliff lee or roy oswalt.

    Ludwick doesnt make anyone think twice about pitching to anyone. Pujols enjoyed a career high in intentional walks last year due almost entirely to a lack of fear anyone had to pitching to Ryan Ludwick. His rate dropped dramatically as soon as Holiday was picked up. He was maybe the third best outfielder on the cardinals and was deemed expendable for a good reason. His numbers are barely above average.

    By Dave on Aug 17, 2010

  3. Right On!!!!!! Now I expect them to WIN every game. When the don’t, it hasn’t been because Ludwick or Tejada did’t do their job!

    By Dr Chuck on Aug 17, 2010

  4. Dave,
    I’m not saying they got two All-Star level players. What I’m saying is that their additions have changed the Padres for the better, probably far more than adding Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt did for their teams.

    The numbers don’t lie, look at the Padres’ offensive numbers since the deadline.

    Lee is 2-3 with a 3.44 ERA as a Ranger, and the Rangers are 6-7 in August. Not his fault, but this post was about the team as a whole.

    Oswalt is 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA and the Phillies are 10-3 since the deadline. Great numbers.

    The Padres are averaging a full run more per game since the deadline and are 10-5 since the break. But since Tejada and Ludwick have gotten involved and comfortable, the Friars have won 7 of their last 8, the only loss coming in extra innings against the Giants.

    By Phillips on Aug 17, 2010

  5. I am one of those fans that also agrees that it was a great pick up bring both those players here. I thought Tejada was past his prime… He just needed a new enviornment…… Ryan has been great… I don’t agree with the first comment on this page…. Ryan has already showed his worth here in San Diego… GO PADRES!

    By PadresLakersChargers on Aug 17, 2010

  6. That seems like an unbiased assessment

    By Dave on Aug 18, 2010

  7. Baseball is a team sport. You need players who fit in well with each other. In case you haven’t noticed the Padres have the 2nd lowest payroll in baseball. Have you seen Cliff lee pitch lately. Sorry to tell you but he has not been pitching all that great and look at Oswalt’s pitching record as a whole. Not great by any means.

    By Richard on Aug 19, 2010

  8. What a great find for the Padres to pick up Ludwick and Tejada. As a Cardinal fan I was shocke that the Cards would let Ludwick go. Believe me, if Ludwick is played on a regular basis, he will not disappoint. I always thought that the Cards were afraid that Ludwick would outshine Pujols. It seemed that on the days he hit well, the next day, Larussa would put him on the bench. And Tejada has one of the most outstanding strike-out ratios per at bat of anyone in baseball.

    By Bob on Aug 22, 2010

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