San Diego Padres: Projecting the 2024 starting rotation possibilities

Before projecting the 2024 San Diego Padres starting rotation, the front office must answer questions about the starting pitching depth or potentially the lack of.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Pedro Avila
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Pedro Avila / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Darvish and Musgrove must pitch like aces

You can make an argument for either Darvish or Musgrove being San Diego's best starting pitcher. However, neither solidified their case last season. Injuries made them (Darvish with elbow issues and Musgrove with broken toe and right shoulder inflammation) a non-factor, especially down the stretch attempting to secure a postseason berth. Darvish was 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA, and Musgrove was more consistent at 10-3 with a 3.05 ERA.

Neither pitcher made the Friars feel invincible when they took the mound. Darvish and Musgrove would start games strong before a sudden drop-off that affected their dominance. Thus, their evening ended early. With that, questions arise if either starter could remain healthy for a full season (41 combined starts in 2023).

Let's not kid ourselves, Darvish and Musgrove are not going anywhere despite their struggles last season. Both pitchers have contract extensions (Darvish owed $78 million through 2028, and Musgrove owed $80 million through 2027), which makes it hard to move them any potential trade. The front office felt their 2023 performance level was an aberration and not the norm.