Padres 2024 Opening Day roster projection 1.0: Top prospect solves outfield shortage

Who will take the field for the Padres during the first game of the 2024 season?

San Diego Padres outfielder Jackson Merrill
San Diego Padres outfielder Jackson Merrill / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Padres Opening Day bullpen (8)

  • Woo-Suk Go
  • Yuki Matsui
  • Robert Suarez
  • Enyel De Los Santos
  • Tom Cosgrove
  • Wandy Peralta
  • Jhony Brito
  • Stephen Kolek

Looking at the San Diego bullpen offers Pads fans a lot of optimism. While the Friars are sure to miss closer Josh Hader, Padres President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller did a nice job of adding to the relief corps.

Suarez is expected to take over closer duties for Hader in 2024, though there could be some competition from free agent signee Yuki Matsui. The Padres also brought in Woo-Suk Go and former Yankees reliever Wandy Peralta.

Enyel De Los Santos is out of minor-league options, so the right-hander is sure to receive some preferential treatment this spring. Stephen Kolek was a Rule 5 Draft pick earlier this offseason, so if the Friars want to keep him, it's imperative he stays on the active roster.

Jhony Brito will compete for a spot in the rotation, but with so much competition, perhaps Shildt shifts the right-hander into the bullpen to begin the 2024 campaign. Finally, look for yet another lefty to join the fray in Tom Cosgrove.

The Padres have several others who'll be vying for a spot in the bullpen. Steven Wilson, Luis Patiño, and Jeremiah Estrada could all make a case to be part of the relief corps. Over the next couple of weeks, these issues will likely be resolved by how well these pitchers perform in practice and during Cactus League play.