In 2009, the San Diego Padres finished with a 75-87 record, "good" for fourth in the National League West -- or exactly 20 games behind the division-winning Los Angeles Dodgers. The Hot Stove League was lukewarm, at best, for the Padres; their biggest offseason splash was a one-year deal for a little more than $5 million for an innings-eating righty (Jon Garland) whose upside was/is as a third starter.
Then, their No. 1 prospect, Kyle Blanks -- one of the more interesting parts on a team of otherwise low-ceiling players -- strained his elbow in mid-May, has been out of commission since then and is now due for Tommy John surgery.
That's a recipe for success, eh?
So, can they keep this up?