3 changes we'd already make to the San Diego Padres in 2023
Keep only one of Matt Carpenter or Nelson Cruz for improved roster flexibility
There aren't many teams that carry two nearly-full time designated hitters on their active rosters. The Padres do with Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz.
Carpenter had a great game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, as he drove in five of the team's seven runs. Nelson Cruz, on the other hand, has scuffled in recent weeks, though his overall numbers are still respectable.
But the Padres don't need both players. And if they had to choose between the two, they should go with Carpenter, who can at least provide some value in the field. It's not that Cruz isn't valuable (his leadership is surely instrumental in that clubhouse), but San Diego has multiple guys playing out of position, and at some point this season, that could backfire on the team.
On days where they need a right-handed DH, Bob Melvin could always use Fernando Tatis Jr., allowing a strong defender like Jose Azocar to man right field, as an example. The idea of having more roster flexibility should be appealing, especially players that can take the field instead of those who merely DH at this point, like Nelson Cruz.
Additionally, as alluded to earlier, the Padres' bullpen is undermanned at the moment. Perhaps having another body on the pitching staff could be of service to this team in the meantime, a spot otherwise being absorbed by Nelson Cruz and/or Matt Carpenter.