4 San Diego Padres players that need to step up for them to have a chance in 2023

If the San Diego Padres are going to make the 2023 postseason, they will need a number of players to step up, including these four.
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves
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Seth Lugo
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

Seth Lugo

This season, Seth Lugo made the move from the bullpen to the rotation and has been good. For the most part, he's been reliable this season, but with Musgrove, Lugo is part of the rotation that needs to pitch well every fifth day. His outing Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers is one that can't happen agains the rest of the season.

After his teammates staked him to a 5-0 lead through three innings, he gave it all back and then some with eight earned runs in the fourth, including a grand slam to Mookie Betts. Monday aside, Lugo has been a workhorse for the Padres this season and has been using all four of his pitches to keep hitters off balance. Musgrove and Michael Wacha missing is huge for San Diego, but Lugo stepping up every fifth day would go a long way for the Friars to reach the playoffs.

Rich Hill

One of the more curious trade deadline additions was Rich Hill. The veteran left-hander has been durable over the last couple of seasons, however, he's not going to blow you away and has to rely on his control and command. The Pittsburgh Pirates were quick to move him, now he's going to be a key piece for Melvin with Musgrove down.

His first start with the Friars was not a promising one as he lasted just three innings Sunday night in an 8-2 loss to the Dodgers. He allowed six runs, all in the first two innings, and two home runs. He did strike out four and walked just one, but he is going to need to be better moving forward. One thing that is not going to get him down is one bad start as he has shown over his career to bounce-back in his next start, but he will need to be better if San Diego is going to make a push on the teams ahead of them.

On paper, it does not look promising for the Padres, but Preller going all-in at the deadline sends the message to his team that the front office believes in them. They have battled adversity all season long and will over the final seven weeks. It's how they responded to it and control what they can control that will determine how they finish the season either in or out of a playoff berth.