Padres: Three key questions facing San Diego this season

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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Tommy Pham / San Diego Padres
(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Padres: Will Tommy Pham produce? Can Trent Grisham take the next step?

Generally speaking, you feel pretty good about this core. You’ve got MVP finalist and perennial Gold Glove contender Manny Machado at the hot corner, flanked by Tatis Jr. at short. Let’s not forget: Wil Myers is playing like a man possessed this spring, too.

But how will the supporting cast shake out? Tommy Pham looked awful for much of the spring before turning it on lately. Heading into a contract year, the veteran outfielder needs to put a dismal 2020 showing behind him and seize the left field job in San Diego.

Trent Grisham looked like the real deal early this spring before hitting the shelf with an injury. He should be at 100 percent by Opening Day and is now tasked with living up to the hype that comes with some of his eye-popping peripherals from last season. If he can do that, this lineup looks very, very different.

At second base, Jake Cronenworth looks like he’ll be the guy to open the season. But that’s not just because he played well this spring. Offseason international free agent signing Ha-Seong Kim has looked overmatched and hasn’t produced at the dish yet. San Diego needs the Korean standout to get his feet under him sooner rather than later if they want to field a team capable of competing with the Dodgers in the NL West.