San Diego Padres Roster
- NL West
- PETCO Park
The San Diego Padres' top pitching prospect, MacKenzie Gore, struggled with his control on Thursday against the Texas Rangers. He walked three batters in two innings of work but also held the Rangers lineup hitless and he struck out two batters. Most of his trouble came in the first inning and he fought back in the second inning with improved command of his heater and curveball. Still just 21, Gore is expected to open the season at the club's alternate training site but could very well pitch meaningful innings for the Padres in 2021. San Diego spent the offseason solidifying the starting rotation with Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish will make his first start of spring training on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. The Padres will get their first look at one of their big offseason pitching acquisitions against another team this weekend. Darvish was the runner-up to Trevor Bauer for the National League Cy Young Award in 2020, posting a pristine 2.01 ERA with 93 strikeouts in his 12 starts over 76 innings with the Cubs. The 34-year-old has some injury risk, but the Japanese right-hander will be moving to a pitcher-friendly park with an excellent offense backing him in San Diego. Darvish had an excellent second half last year and finished with a great 31.3 percent strikeout rate. He's a top-five fantasy ace in his new home.
San Diego Padres starter Joe Musgrove is staged to start Friday against the San Francisco Giants in his spring debut. Acquired in the offseason from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 28-year-old posted a career best campaign in a shortened 2020 season. Across eight starts, Musgrove registered a 3.86 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and fantastic 33 percent strikeout rate. Even with reasonable assumptions that his whiff rate normalizes to a mid-20s clip, Musgrove's stuff appears legit and he's locked in as the Friars No. 4 starter. With a current ADP of 129, Musgrove's position as an SP3 holds little value but he possesses the underlying metrics for a breakout season with his new squad.
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., fresh off signing a record-breaking contract extension last month, hit a 441-foot grand slam in the second inning of the team's spring training game against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The Padres received the nickname "Slam Diego" after becoming the first team in baseball history to hit a grand slam in four straight games in 2020. Tatis' homer, which had an exit velocity of 114 mph, was his second hit of the day. It's not a surprise, as the young star led the league in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel percentage in 2020. He should also throw in 20-plus stolen bases, making Tatis an elite fantasy asset worth taking behind the Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. with the second overall fantasy selection.
San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola quietly played through a fractured foot after he was acquired via trade last season. Brought in midseason to bolster the lineup, Nola immediately fouled a ball off his foot, which possibly explains the modest .705 OPS he registered with the Friars. He had posted a .903 OPS with the Seattle Mariners prior. Now healthy, the 31-year-old late bloomer looks to build upon the impressive wRC+ he's tallied across 451 career plate appearances. With a Statcast profile suggesting sustainable offensive prowess, Nola is a fine selection as a top-10 fantasy backstop. Project Nola to handle the majority of starts with backups veteran Victor Caratini and prospect Luis Campusano spelling him on off days.