Padres RHP Randy Vásquez will begin the 2024 season in the big leagues
Interestingly enough, Randy Vásquez's first career major league start came against the San Diego Padres. As a member of the New York Yankees last season, Vasquez went 4 2/3 innings of work on May 26 at Yankee Stadium and recorded six punchouts while allowing just two runs (ironically, on a Juan Soto moonshot).
If San Diego can get a similar type of outing from Vásquez while in a Padres uniform, the fanbase will be quite happy. Vásquez was part of the return the Friars received earlier this offseason in exchange for All-Star outfielder Soto.
Vásquez is arguably the most MLB-ready of any of the three young pitchers San Diego received in return. Of course the Padres expect a solid season from Michael King as well. Vásquez made 11 appearances in the majors last season, five of which were starts.
Vásquez's ERA of 2.87 is quite good, but 18 walks over less than 40 innings of work is not ideal. Hitters were only able to scratch across an .208 batting average against the electric righty, but new Padres manager Mike Shildt is not going to stand for that high number of free passes.
If Vásquez is able to maintain command and control during Cactus League play this spring, it's a good bet that he joins his former teammate, King, in the starting rotation. Vásquez does have minor-league options remaining, so if the right-hander is plagued by command issues during spring training, he could find his way to Triple-A (and the intimidating, hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League).