Unfortunately, they have the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants ahead of them in the National League West. Plus, superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is set to miss a couple of months due to a fractured wrist, so they need to try to weather the storm until he returns.
The Padres have also been rumored to be interested in Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, although nothing has materialized. For now, let’s examine the Padres’ potential lineup with Tatis out.
Even without Fernando Tatis Jr, the Padres’ top of the order is loaded.
- Trent Grisham (CF), 2. Manny Machado (3B), 3. Jake Cronenworth (2B)
New Padres manager Bob Melvin has tinkered with the lineup during Spring Training. However, the top three have remained the same.
Trent Grisham is entrenched at the top spot until Tatis returns. He is followed by Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth, which sets up one of the better top-three setups in the major leagues.
Grisham can get on base and hit for a decent amount of power, and we all know what Machado brings to the plate, Cronenworth is one of the best hitters in San Diego, and last year he posted a .266 batting average with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs. Cronenworth might end up batting second in the order, moving Machado down to the three-spot.
For now, it looks like Melvin prefers Cronenworth in the three-hole.
New addition Luke Voit is penciled in as the cleanup hitter
4. Luke Voit (DH), 5. Wil Myers (RF), 6. Eric Hosmer (1B)
The Padres’ most significant move of the offseason was acquiring slugger Luke Voit from the New York Yankees. As such, Voit is expected to be the cleanup hitter for the Padres unless they somehow trade for another power bat before Opening Day begins.
Voit wasted no time making his presence felt with the Padres, smashing a home run during Spring Training. After Voit is where things get interesting.
The five-spot could be either one of Eric Hosmer or Wil Myers, two players the Padres were trying to move due to their high salaries. But Myers might be the better option at the five-hole.
Hosmer isn’t a bad option, but putting two lefties back-to-back might be something Melvin wants to avoid, at least with Voit and Hosmer.
The Padres are undoubtedly hoping that Hosmer and Myers can have bounce-back campaigns, but at this point, who knows what happens. There is also a chance that a new acquisition — somebody like Michael Conforto — could be in either spot.
The Padres have question marks at the bottom of the order, although there is potential
7. Austin Nola (C), 8. Jurickson Profar (LF), 9. Ha-Seong Kim (SS)
The top six hitters all have talent, and the return of Tatis will shift everybody down a spot, meaning one of Myers or Hosmer will be hitting seventh.
Until then, the last three hitters are on and off. Catcher Austin Nola missed most of the 2021 season but is ready to take back his full-time job as the Padres catcher. His offense has been a mixed bag in the MLB, but maybe this is the year he puts together a strong season.
Jurickson Profar is penciled in as the team’s starting left-fielder, which could change if a trade goes down. In 137 games last year, Profar hit .227 with four home runs and 33 RBIs across that slate, which is discouraging.
Tommy Pham signed with the Cincinnati Reds, and the Padres brought in Matt Beaty to compete with Profar for playing time. Oh, and star prospect CJ Abrams might end up getting some playing time in the outfield as well, which would be electrifying for the fan base, and the batting order.
If Abrams gets regular playing time, he might be moved up in the order. For now, Profar is the guy.
The last hitter is Ha-Seong Kim, and the Korean star struggled in his first season in the MLB. However, he is set for an everyday role as long as Tatis is out, and his bat is one of the reasons the Padres were interested in him. If Kim can get used to MLB pitching, he could enjoy a remarkable sophomore season in the MLB.
Stats Courtesy of Baseball-Reference