3 areas where the San Diego Padres fell way short in 2023

Looking at Baseball-Reference's WAR rankings, it's clear to see where the San Diego Padres should be focusing for next season.
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adrian Morejon
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adrian Morejon / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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San Diego Padres area to fix in 2023: Designated hitter

It has been well documented that the Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz experiment blew up in a horrific way last season for the Friars. However, while those two got the majority of plate appearances as a designated hitter last season, don't forget that Manny Machado was penciled in at DH at the end of the season as he battled through an arm injury. He could also start the season there depending on his recovery timeline from recent surgery.

Carpenter, Cruz and Machado each finished the season with more than 100 plate appearances as the San Diego designated hitter, and they were the leaders at a position that produced a combined minus -1.0 bWAR. That tied for 17th among all MLB teams.

Machado may be the answer at designated hitter to start the season, but the Padres will be ready to install him back at the hot corner when he is fully healthy. That leaves an opening in the lineup that will need to be targeted this offseason, and find better answers than what A.J. Preller and crew brought to the table last year.

Boosting the offense and the bullpen should be points of emphasis for the San Diego Padres this offseason. Expect the rumors to be flying as Preller not only tries to build a roster that can compete for a World Series title, but also stays in line with cost considerations.