You can find your San Diego Padres tickets for the 2011 season on SeatGeek.

Ernie Padaon is the Lead Writer for Fansided’s San Diego Padres blog, Chicken Friars.  You can follow him on Twitter @epadaon.

San Diego Padres 2011 Season Preview

The San Diego Padres are coming off of a 90 win season and were 1 win away from making it into the playoffs. They were 1 win away from eliminating the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants. The 2009 Padres entered the season projected by many to finish last overall in the entire league. They rose above those expectations through great pitching and defense.

The 2010 Padres will have a new look with many off-season moves and Manager of the Year, Buddy Black, will have to get his team to play well again.

Lineup

The Padres were very busy in the off-season and will see new starters in 5 spots on the field. The off-season was highlighted with the trade of Adrian Gonzales to the Boston Red Sox for some prospects in the future. The Padres strengthened their defense up the middle by making moves for CF Cameron Maybin, SS Jason Bartlett, and 2B Orlando Hudson. The Padres also signed a new 1B Brad Hawpe to take over for Adrian Gonzales. Nick Hundley will now take over the starting catcher position now that Yorvit Torrealba has left in free agency.

C Nick Hundley
1B Brad Hawpe
2B Orlando Hudson
3B Chase Headley
SS Jason Bartlett
RF Will Venable
CF Cameron Maybin
LF Ryan Ludwick

The team is very athletic and should be very strong defensively. We will see how the offense reacts without All-Star 1B Adrian Gonzales in the lineup. They have improved the top of the order with the additions of Hudson and Bartlett, but we will see if Ludwick and Hawpe can bat them in.

Pitching Staff

The Padres signed P Aaron Harang from the Cincinnati Reds to bring over his experience and innings to the rotation. They also signed P Dustin Moseley to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation.

Mat Latos
Clayton Richard
Tim Stauffer
Aaron Harang
Dustin Moseley/Wade Leblanc/Cory Luebke

Mat Latos is the stud ace for the staff. The young staff pitched very well last season and will be aided by PETCO Park. The pitching staff will benefit from a very strong bullpen led by closer Heath Bell. If the rotation can hold the opposing team for 6 innings, they can have the confidence in the bullpen to close out the game for them. The Padres have the 7, 8, and 9 innings locked up with Luke Gregerson, Mike Adams, and Heath Bell closing the games.

Overall
The Padres are built around strong defense and pitching. The defense up the middle might be one of the strongest in the league. The pitching staff will be aided by PETCO and manager Buddy Black will have to find ways to manufacture runs. The team has put more speed in the lineup with Hudson, Maybin, and Bartlett added. The Padres will be involved in some low scoring games but should remain competitive in the division.