The Padres ended the year seven games out of the wildcard and while other teams in their division made moves that grabbed more headlines, the Padres major acquisition was a trade that netted centerfielder Dave Roberts, bringing an element of speed to a lineup devoid of that quality.
With several members of the squad having down years, the promise of 2005 rides on the resurgence. And Jake Peavy sees that as a positive.
"I think there is a lot of excitement," said Peavy. "We haven't done a whole lot (adding players), which may be a good thing. I read where Bochy said ‘we didn't have to do a whole, whole lot.' If I can get better, if Adam and Brian, I know Woody Williams is going to help our staff. We have (Scott) Linebrink and Aki (Otsuka) and Trevor (Hoffman) back and that solidifies. I think our pitching staff is very well set. We have to do what we did last year and even more so get a little bit better.
"I believe that we can."
Peavy went 15-6 last year and won the ERA title – asking more from the staff ace may be a bit extreme.
They also have to account for the 12 wins lost when David Wells moved on to Boston .Woody Williams was signed to take his place and even at 38, Williams should compliment the young staff nicely.
The lineup gets the infusion of speed from Roberts to bolster what could be an impressive offense – provided a few key components rebound.
Brian Giles had a down year by his standards and Ryan Klesko lost an abundance of power. The positive is Klesko rebounded in the second half of the season and started to drive the ball with authority.
Peavy added, "I heard Boch say, ‘we need a little more production, and we need Brian Giles and Ryan Klesko and Nevin to stay healthy, he had a tremendous year, and not to take anything away from Rhino or Brian's year but they both have had better in their career and they know that.'
"They did their job last year but if those two can get it going with Mark Loretta and Dave Roberts, he is going to be a shot in the arm for the team leading off, stealing bases and adding some speed. I think we are going to be fine. I think we are going to be very competitive in the National League West."
Competitive? Is that all there is to look forward to?
"I firmly believe that we have a bunch that is not only capable of playing in the playoffs but winning the World Series."