Padres: Will the rotation be as good as it looks on paper?
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The crowning achievement of the offseason for Preller was bringing in a former Cy Young winner in Snell and a Cy Young runner-up from a year ago in Yu Darvish. That’s not to mention hometown kid Joe Musgrove and returning arms like Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet, who himself finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting a year ago.
On paper, it’s a rotation capable of going toe-to-toe with the best lineups in baseball. But Darvish is just a year-and-a-half removed from not being able to find the strike zone, Snell faces questions over whether or not he can work deep into games and there are serious concerns about Lamet’s continued health.
There was a stark difference between the 2019 version of Paddack and what we got down the stretch last season. It all boils down to whether or not he’s got his fastball figured out. What I’m saying is that, yes, this rotation looks like the real deal. But things could still go wrong. Thankfully, you’ve got depth in the form of the game’s best pitching prospect waiting in the wings.
I’m as optimistic as anybody when it comes to the San Diego Padres this season. But as a lifelong Cubs fan, I’ve also seen what unbridled optimism can get fans. Let’s hope the Friars come out strong and cruise this summer, en route to a deep October run.