Over the weekend, Trent Grisham and the San Diego Padres came to Atlanta to take on Michael Harris II and the red-hot Atlanta Braves. Harris and the Braves took Game 1 of the series before dropping three straight to the powerhouse from Southern California, in what many fans consider an early NLCS preview.
The two teams played some exciting baseball, combining for 39 runs over three really competitive games before Sunday night’s 10-2 bruising by the Padres on national TV.
Casual fans may have been enamored with the quality of baseball being played (and rightfully so), but anyone who is a fan of roster construction and the philosophy a franchise uses to build said roster, saw two different ideologies on display.
Built for Success
For Harris II and the Braves, the focus has been on retaining in-house talent in order to maintain a core of players that will compete for a World Series every season for the foreseeable future. The Braves talent pipeline has been legendary in the baseball world, and this latest crop of talent has already lived up to the hype.
The 2022 National League Rookie of the Year leads a new batch of talent that looks to extend a streak of five consecutive division titles into the next decade.
Harris, who was drafted in the third round by Atlanta in 2019, hit .297 with 19 home runs, 27 doubles, 20 steals and 64 RBI while also playing a Gold Glove caliber centerfield. Money Mike’s quick adjustment to the majors was rewarded with an eight-year, $72 million contract that cemented him as a member of Atlanta’s core going forward.
Bought For Success
Grisham’s Padres on the other hand, looking to stand out in a division that boasts the big spending Los Angeles Dodgers and always relevant San Francisco Giants, have chosen to spend their way to relevancy as opposed to banking on prospects.
Their everyday lineup reads like a National League All Star lineup, with names like soon to return Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, Juan Soto and newly acquired Xander Bogaerts. Padres owner Peter Seidler recognizes that his team is now the only show in town and has made it clear to the baseball world that San Diego will be in play for any superstar they want.
The addition of Bogaerts on a 11-year, $280 million deal was a result of the 50-game suspension that Tatis Jr. received for a positive steroid test. When he returns from suspension Tatis Jr., who was never a great fielder to begin with, will be pushed into the outfield. A move to the outfield means the two-time Gold Glove winner Grisham will now have one bad outfielder on one side in Soto, and an inexperienced outfielder on the other in Tatis Jr., making him more valuable than ever defensively for the Padres.
San Diego will be able to slug their way to victory on most nights, and we saw that this weekend against Atlanta. But if San Diego has plans of topping their NLCS appearance from last year, they must be solid defensively, meaning Grisham will need to hold down the outfield.
The Braves way has already proven fruitful with a World Series and multiple division crowns.
If San Diego is able to match their World Series total with just the stroke of a pen, how can you criticize either method? There once was a franchise in the Bronx that operated somewhat like Seidler and the Padres, and we all saw how that worked.
The 2022 MLB season was a tale of two stories for MLBbro Josh Bell. Prior to the season Bell signed a 1 year/ $10 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
This was meant to be a prove it deal after his 2020 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates was poor and his 2021 season was solid after being traded to the aforementioned Nationals.
Well aware of this fact, Bell knew this was his opportunity to try and perform and receive what may be his last lucrative contract. With this in mind, Bell came into the 2022 season with razor sharp focus.
Josh Bell started the season on fire and was dynamic for the last place Washington Nationals. With his hot bat it seemed inevitable that he would be in line for a big payday once the season ended. But whenever there is a dynamic player with am affordable contract, there is always a postseason contender looking to acquire their services.
There was no difference in this case when the San Diego Padres traded for MLBbro Josh Bell at the trade deadline. Meant to be an asset to the big prize, Juan Soto, the switch hitting first baseman Bell provided the Padres with much needed versatility in their lineup. However, a change of scenery did not help Bell.
In 103 games with the Nationals, Bell batted .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI. These numbers had Bell positioned to lock in a great payday. But Bell’s hitting prowess did not come with him to the west coast. In 53 games with the Padres, Bell’s batting average was a mere .192. Bell amassed a 3.4 WAR during his time in Washington, but only a -0.4 WAR in San Diego. This changed the entire outlook of his production for the overall 2022 MLB season. He would finish with a .266 batting average, with most of his power numbers being a product of his time on the afterthought Nationals squad.
Josh Bell Did Enough To Get A Sweet Deal
Bells’ early productivity and late playoff contributions set him up for a nice bag in free agency. The Cleveland Guardians won the American League Central division last season and recorded 92 wins. However, one aspect of offense that Terry Francona’s well-rounded squad was missing is power. It’s hard to win a World Series these days without big boppers in your lineup and Cleveland was second to last in MLB with 127 homers, just 17 more than the offensively inept Detroit Tigers (110).
Understanding their needs, the Guardians agreed to terms on a two-year, $33 million contract with free agent Bell to come ring some heads in Ohio. Adding MLBbro Bell — who has averaged 25 homers and 89 RBI per 162 games in his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres — to play first base also opens up more time at DH for rising MLBbro Josh Naylor and definitely gives them another power threat in the lineup.
Can Josh Bell Provide Consistent Power For Guardians In 2023?
Bell showed flashes of a stud who can help anchor a lineup with the Nationals, and also someone who should only be related to part-time DH duty with the Padres. In 2023, at age 30, here’s hoping that Josh Bell uses the next two seasons to establish himself as a top first baseman in the game and an All-Star.
After going hitless with multiple strikeouts in Game 1 of the NLCS, Josh Bell did not waste any time turning things around in Game 2. Bell went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and a run scored as the San Diego Padres defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 to even up the series at one a piece.
The Padres were down 4-1 when Bell stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat of the game. And what did he do? He launched a deep shot to right field and it was an absolute no doubter. San Diego had a big fifth inning and Bell played a significant part in the Padres comeback. Down 4-2 going into the fifth, the Padres scored five runs to take a 7-4 lead.
Bell had an RBI single that gave the Padres its seventh run of the game.
Once San Diego took the lead, Philadelphia had no chance of coming back. This was the performance that Bell needed, especially after his dismal performance in Game 1. We all know how productive this brother can be at the plate and he definitely displayed that in Game 2.
San Diego has the talent to win the World Series and Bell is a key piece in the team’s lineup. A big reason why the Padres acquired Bell is because of the explosive power he can provide at the plate. If he can continue to have success at the plate this series, the Padres can have a strong shot at playing for a World Series title.
On Tuesday, the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies battled it out in Game 1 of the NLCS. The winner of this series will advance to the World Series. Philadelphia was able to steal Game 1 in San Diego, winning 2-0 on a one-hitter. San Diego has two of our MLBbros looking to play in their first World Series. Josh Bell and Trent Grisham both have what it takes to give the team’s offense a boost, but in Game 1, their bats were nonexistent.
Bell went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and Grisham went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. This was Grisham’s second time going hitless in the postseason and for Bell he has not recorded a hit in his last three appearances.
This next game for the Padres is a crucial one and a must win. San Diego does not want to go down 0-2 to a team like the Phillies, who have been hot all postseason.
For Grisham, he’s going to need to lock in at the plate like he did in the series against the New York Mets and the LA Dodgers. With him at the bottom of the lineup, he can set the tone for his team as they work their way to the top of the lineup. He can also change the momentum of the game with one swing of the bat.
Bell has struggled at the plate recently. He only appeared in two games in the series against the Dodgers and did not record a hit. So he’s looking to find his rhythm back and if he can do that, he will be a problem for opposing pitchers. Like Grisham, Bell can certainly make an impact at the plate and he possesses a lot of power in that bat.
It only takes one big moment in the playoffs to turn your entire season around.
The San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in Game 4 of the NLDS to advance to the NLCS. Down three going into the bottom of the seventh, the Padres used a five run inning to help secure the win.
San Diego has been one of the most impressive teams throughout the postseason and the team has also had one of the most impressive players as well. Trent Grisham has had a postseason to remember. Our MLBbro has had one of the hottest bats of anyone in the playoffs.
In Game 4 against the Dodgers, Grisham went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. He has appeared in all seven games this postseason for the Padres and out of those games he’s only gone hitless one time.
Let’s take a look at his numbers. He’s hitting .381 with three home runs and five RBI and has a .519 on-base percentage. Grisham is leading the team in home runs and on-base percentage. And check this out: he’s also tied for first in batting average, RBI, and hits.
This brother has impressed a lot of people during the postseason and we get to see more of him as the Padres take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. Grisham has provided that spark that the Padres have needed at the bottom of the lineup and he’s been cool, calm, and collected all postseason long.