You can tell by how the Padres handled their business this winter: they’re all about versatility and guys wearing multiple hats heading into 2021.
Look at the roster. On any given day, you could see Jurickson Profar or Jake Cronenworth in the infield or the outfield. Backup catcher Victor Caratini is a switch-hitter who’s more than capable of handling duties at first base behind Eric Hosmer. If you check out the bullpen, you’ve got half-a-dozen guys who could feasibly close out ballgames.
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
This is how championship-quality clubs look. That’s not to say San Diego is going to go out and win it all this year (let’s hope) – but it’s the teams that can lose a key guy and plug and play without sacrificing roster integrity. It’s those groups of guys who put the ‘we’ before the ‘me’ and have one goal: win every time out.
"“It gives us a lot of flexibility,” Jayce Tingler told MLB.com. “It gives us flexibility in-game to be able to make moves or decisions. It gives us flexibility in case we have somebody or two guys go down for whatever reason.”"
Top free agent signing Ha-Seong Kim comes with the same versatility that shapes this entire ballclub. He’s spent time all over the diamond during his KBO career and it seems like there’s a good chance that, once he has his feet under him, that will also be the case here in San Diego.
Pitching depth will be critical for Padres and every other club
The pitching staff is stupid deep, too. Teams are going to use more than five starters this season. There’s no doubt about it. But few clubs are in the position of the Padres, who have seven-plus legitimate options to turn to – not to mention a trio of top prospects who we’ll also likely see this summer.
Injuries can crush hopes and dreams. But the Padres are built to withstand them. AJ Preller has given Tingler a loaded arsenal to deploy. Now it’s on the San Diego skipper to do so effectively and the players to deliver after getting that long-awaited taste of postseason baseball last fall.