Josh Hader Is Still Broken And Getting Worse

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres
Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

When the San Diego Padres landed Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline, the deal looked like a major coup for the Friars. They didn't give up much in exchange and Hader has been one of MLB's most dominant relievers over the past few years. Unfortunately for San Diego, Hader has been an absolute disaster since arriving. On Sunday, he proved once again that he's completely broken.

Hader entered Sunday's game against the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Padres trailed 9-6 and needed Hader to have a quick frame in hopes of a ninth-inning comeback. That didn't happen.

The 28-year-old faced eight batters and only recorded one out. He surrendered six runs (all earned) on five hits, with two walks and a strikeout. Hader threw 34 pitches, only 19 of which went for strikes. He was relieved by outfield Wil Myers who wound up escaping the inning. The Padres trailed 15-6 when it was all over.

Since arriving from Milwaukee, Hader has made seven appearances for the Padres. He's pitched 4.2 innings, while allowing 12 runs on 12 hits, and walking seven while striking out eight. His ERA is 23.14 and his WHIP is 4.07 in those outings. Opposing batters are hitting .500 against him since moving to San Diego.

On the season, Hader's ERA is now 6.52 and his WHIP is 1.47. Entering 2022, the highest WHIP of Hader's career was 0.95 in 2020, and his highest batting average against was .156 in 2017. Hitters are up to .250 against him this year. He was struggling with Milwaukee (4.24 ERA), but he's been horrific with the Padres.

No one quite knows what's up with him. Hader believes he was tipping his pitches earlier in the season, and he's having loads of trouble locating his fastball. It's a mess and the Padres absolutely can't rely on him.

There's almost no chance Hader turns this around quickly. It feels like a foundational change needs to be made in whatever he's doing. This might be the kind of thing where he needs to be shut down for the rest of the year to can figure things out in the offseason. He's under contract through next season so the Padres need him to get it together if they hope to compete in 2023.