Padres Spring Training Update: Yu Darvish, Randy Vasquez, OF search continues

The Padres have a lot of uncertainty down at camp with the start of the 2024 season looming.
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training
2024 San Diego Padres Spring Training / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres are right in the middle of spring training, and with that comes lots of speculation each game. A young prospect will have a good showing and fans will start clamoring for them to be called up immediately, while a veteran will struggle and fans will call for their head. It's a tale as old as time.

This particular spring training is very intriguing, however, due to the number of unsettled roster spots and genuine competition taking place down at Padres camp with the rotation, bullpen, and outfield all being open questions.

Here's a look at the latest goings on with the Padres this spring.

Padres News: Yu Darvish looked great in his second spring start

For Padres fans that were worried that Yu Darvish would struggle as all of those miles on his arm have begun to add up, his performance this spring should quell some of those worries. In his second start of spring training, Darvish pitched into the fourth inning and struck out six. He did give up a homer, but these things happen in early spring training games.

The important thing is that Darvish passed the eye test on the mound. For a guy who dealt with a bone spur at the end of the 2023 season and is getting a bit long in the tooth, getting off to a great start has been encouraging.

Padres News: San Diego's outfield competition remains wide open

Despite the recent roster cuts that have sent multiple prospects back over to minor league camp, the competition for the Padres' outfield spots remains very heavy. Jackson Merrill has the momentum right now for at least one of the spots, but there's still a lot of uncertainty with the direction the club will go.

In addition to Merrill, Jakob Marsee has been performing well among the prospect group of contenders. Jose Azocar could easily win the center field job due to his experience and the recent signing of Tim Locastro has added another contender to the ranks who hit the ground running this spring.

Padres News: Could Randy Vasquez end up in the Padres' Opening Day rotation?

Given that the Padres lost 60% of their rotation to free agency this offseason, there's a lot to sort out with the starting staff. Barring a catastrophe, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and (probably) Michael King will be in the rotation. With the Padres' latest round of spring training roster cuts, it looks like Drew Thorpe could be a heavy favorite for one open spot. However, another addition from the Juan Soto trade, Randy Vasquez, is making a run for a place at the table.

In his five innings this spring so far, he is striking out better than a batter an inning, and the young arms that were his chief competition -- Robby Snelling and Jairo Iriarte -- were sent back to minor league camp. San Diego may still go out and get a veteran arm before the start of the season, but Vasquez is definitely a name to watch.

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