Spring Training Is Coming for Padres


With the conclusion of the College Football Season last night, and the NFL playoffs in full swing already, it means that spring training is nearly here for MLB and the San Diego Padres. Are fans getting worried yet?

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Keegan Tatum wrote about what the lineup would look like if Opening Day started tomorrow, and there still are some glaring weaknesses. Quite a few news outlets including our own reported that the Padres are closing in on a new shortstop – but until that happens all we have is Alexi Amarista again or a young prospect.

Of course A.J. Preller has no problem making changes based on what he sees in Spring Training. Justin Upton remains on the free agency market and teams seem reticent to commit the money he wants – which is surprising considering how much they are committing to pitching right now. Yes, I am looking at you Jeff Samardzija.

Last year Preller didn’t sign the staff stalwart James Shields who this year is looking to dramatically reduce the number of home runs allowed which reached a career high last year.

Last year Preller broke camp with about 8 outfielders and a deal the day before the season shipped out Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton Jr. Interesting note there: only Upton Jr remains with the team that was part of that trade. Quentin immediately retired, Kimbrel was traded by the Padres this off-season to the Red Sox and Maybin from the Braves to the Tigers.

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Still – you never know what will happen in spring training. Some outsiders are tabbing Padres Rule 5 Draft pick Jabari Blash to light things up and earn an outfield spot if it still isn’t filled, while other prospects like Rymer Liriano and even Hunter Renfroe in a longshot might lay claim to left field in Petco Park.

That is what the spring so exciting and a time of unfettered optimism. I have a feeling for the Padres this year it will be the only time the team isn’t weighed down by a losing record in the talented NL West.