The money was flowing in fast and furiously for the San Diego Padres in the offseason, but the start of their regular season in 2023? Not as fast, nor as furious.
At 7-7 through their first 14 games, the Padres haven't jumped out of the gate despite a massive talent advantage. They've struggled to score runs in bunches and haven't always pitched well, surprising for a roster built to out-slug and out-pitch its competition.
Despite the slow start to 2023, however, the Padres still have plenty of reasons to be optimistic for what lies ahead (besides the small sample size, obviously).
3 reasons to believe in the San Diego Padres despite their slow start in 2023
The return of Joe Musgrove from injury
The Padres miss Joe Musgrove. There's no denying that.
Musgrove threw the Padres' only no-hitter in franchise history in 2021 against the Texas Rangers, and has become a bona fide ace since he was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also owned a 2.89 ERA in the postseason in 2022 (the lowest of all of the team's starters), helping San Diego advance to the NLCS. That makes him a pretty important cog.
Fortunately, the Padres have received outstanding early production from offseason acquisitions Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo in Musgrove's place, but even those two can't replace the swagger and the talent Musgrove brings to the mound with him every fifth day. San Diego will benefit immensely from having their ace slot back in the rotation alongside Yu Darvish to recreate their elite tandem once again.