The San Diego Padres, riding the high of locking in their young superstar, open their slate of spring training games at 12:10 p.m. Sunday against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria.
They also face their National League West rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to conclude the week, at 12:05 p.m. Saturday.
Fans can watch two of the week’s contests on Fox Sports San Diego – Wednesday’s against the Milwaukee Brewers and the game with the Dodgers. If you don’t have a ticket though, radio, TV and streaming are your only options – with sharp limits on spring ticket sales due to COVID-19, the Padres announced Wednesday that all 14 home games were sold out.
Hopes are always high in spring training, but the Padres, which made the $340 million signing of Fernando Tatis Jr. official Monday, will field its best team in years in 2021.
The team, with a 37-23 record, finished behind the Dodgers in the division in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. The Dodgers also eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs on the way to a World Series win.
But the Padres, already on the ascent, improved on a number of fronts, trading for pitchers Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell, signing South Korean star Ha-Seong Kim and retaining Jurickson Profar.
Not to mention ensuring that they have the services of Tatis, 22, for 14 years.
According to MLB.com, their projected lineup for the season is:
- Trent Grisham, CF
- Tatis Jr., SS
- Manny Machado, 3B
- Eric Hosmer, 1B
- Wil Myers, RF
- Tommy Pham, LF
- Jake Cronenworth, 2B
- Austin Nola, C
In addition, the team hopes for the return of starter Dinelson Lamet, who made himself a Cy Young contender last year, but saw the end of his season derailed by elbow woes. Darvish, Snell and Musgrove will join Chris Paddack, MLB projected, to round out the rotation.
This make you eager for Opening Day? Mark it on the calendar –the Padres open at home at Petco Park on April 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.