Spring Training games have finally arrived for the San Diego Padres and while the games don’t mean anything, there are several position battles to monitor throughout.
The offseason has concluded, and the San Diego Padres will look to improve off a 70-92 season last year. At the midway point, the team stood at 45-45, but the second half of the year proved to be disastrous as the team limped into the offseason with what seemed like more questions than answers.
That said, 2019 was filled with joyous surprises coming from the debut of Fernando Tatis Jr. on Opening Day – collecting two hits in his first three at-bats – while slashing .317/.379/.590 with 22 home runs and 53 RBI for the year. His rookie year was cut short due to a back injury, but the 21-year-old is ready for year two in the big leagues.
2019 also marked the first year of the Manny Machado era, and while it was a letdown in terms of how Machado has typically produced, he still produced a 3.1 WAR season with 32 home runs and 85 RBI.
Eric Lauer was the Opening Day starter for the Padres rotation, one that saw 16 pitchers all make starts and ultimately form what is considered to be one of the youngest and most talented rotations in baseball.
Heading into this season, there are still several positions that need to be sorted out after the offseason and dust have settled. Let’s look at three position battles that will be very exciting to watch as Spring Training unfolds.