5 Padres players taking advantage of 2024 spring training

Which Padres players are looking to parlay a strong spring into a roster spot?

San Diego Padres infielder Graham Pauley
San Diego Padres infielder Graham Pauley / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Matt Waldron, Padres RHP

Waldron has battled this spring, but it may not be enough to make the Opening Day roster. Much like Brito, Waldron feasted on Cubs' hitters earlier this spring. The right-hander punched out six Chicago batters in four innings pitched.

But the roster crunch might get the best of Waldron. The Padres are likely looking to keep the 27-year-old stretched out down in the minors rather than shift him into the bullpen. San Diego already has Brito, Musgrove, Yu Darvish, and Michael King slated to be part of the starting rotation.

Randy Vasquez has struggled to keep the ball in the yard this spring, and if that carries over to the regular season, don't be shocked if Waldon's strong showing during spring training earns him a quick call-up to the bigs.

Óscar Mercado, Padres OF

The Padres have a vacancy in the outfield. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a lock to be the team's starting right fielder, and Jurickson Profar is probably ticketed to be a platoon in left field. But what about center field? While Merrill and fellow prospect Jakob Marsee have been doing their best to sneak onto the Padres Opening Day roster, no one has opened more eyes than Mercado.

Mercado is comfortable in center field, but can play all three outfield spots and has displayed some power this spring. The 29-year-old was a non-roster invitee, but his play warrants a longer look. If the Padres aren't yet ready to call up Merrill or Marsee, Mercado could bridge the gap.

Mercado's performance has him moving from the fringes of the roster to within striking distance of securing a spot in the Padres lineup. These final few games could be the difference between winning a spot on the Padres Opening Day roster or re-entering the free agent market.

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