Padres fans haven't had much to cheer about this offseason. The front office traded away one of the best in the game, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner isn't coming back, and their NL West rival spent quite literally a billion dollars this winter to further stack the best roster in the NL.
But cheer up, Friars fans. Hope springs eternal, and spring training is just around the corner. It's that time of year when every team's fanbase (except the Oakland A's) is excited to see what the new year might bring.
Which rookies might make a run at the Opening Day roster? Who showed up with extra 10 pounds of muscle? Why is there so much buzz around this top prospect? All those questions, and more, will be answered once the team reports to Peoria.
When do pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Padres?
According to CBS Sports, San Diego Padres pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout on Sunday, Feb. 11 to the team's training facility in Peoria, Arizona. In fact, the Friars will be arriving in Arizona a few days ahead of almost every other team in the Cactus League.
The first full-squad workout is a little less than a week later, with all participants required to show up by Friday, Feb. 16. Even the Padres fan who operates with a glass half-empty mindset will be happy to see the team on the field next month.
Padres to focus on pitching for Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona, and Cactus League play
Though Juan Soto is now in the Bronx, the Padres still have enough bats in the lineup to be one of the best offenses in the league. But it's the pitching -- specifically starting pitching -- that will be the one thing every Friars fan has their eye this spring.
The Padres received a ton of talented, young arms from the New York Yankees this past offseason, and the San Diego faithful are eager to see how pitchers like Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and Michael King perform after trading in their pinstripes for the brown and gold. Newly signed relievers Woo Suk Go and Yuki Matsui will be closely watched, too.
How healthy is Yu Darvish after landing on the 60-day IL last season with a bone spur? Joe Musgrove made just 17 starts a year ago. After dropping a kettle bell on his toe and burning his feet while running on the hot turf during the Mexico Series, Musgrove's 2023 campaign didn't get off to a good start. He then landed on the 60-day IL with shoulder inflammation at the end of July.
While San Diego will no doubt be looking to some of their young hurlers to show some progress next season, the health of both Darvish and Musgrove will be key the Padres success in 2024. There's less than a month before both pitchers will be throwing bullpen sessions in Peoria, and there's still work to do, but this is an early talking point as we prepare for the preseason.