Friar Forecast

It is officially that time of year again. The 2023 baseball season is in full force, and the Padres are ready to make history once again.

Fans are anxiously excited for this upcoming season after the run the team had last postseason, making it all the way to the National League Championship Series against the Phillies They would ultimately lose that series in five games, but it marked the first time the Padres had made it that far into the postseason since the 1998 World Series, when the Padres lost to the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep.

Some big moves were made heading into the new season. The one drawing the most attention was the signing of Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year contract after he left the Boston Red Sox in free agency. Another big topic for the upcoming season was Fernando Tatis Jr. approaching his return from injuries and an 80-game suspension for violating the MLB’s banned substance policy. These additions, along with Manny Machado signing an 11-year extension and Jake Cronenworth a seven-year one, are giving fans hope that the Padres could make a run for the World Series this year.

Last postseason, the Padres really showed up and showed off. Players who weren’t normally seen as key pieces stepped up and really made a name for themselves. Trent Grisham had a rocky regular season with a batting average of .184, but came back to show out in the postseason with a .389 batting average. Another player who made a big impact was Catcher Austin Nola, who had a batting average of .167 in the regular season, but made a large jump to a .225 average in the postseason.

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“Trent Grisham has really brought himself back,” said Imani Garcia, Grossmont student and Padres fan. “Last season was a little rough, but I am happy he is back to being a star and really showing off his skills.”

One player who really opened up some eyes last postseason was Pitcher Joe Musgrove. According to FanNation, Musgrove really caught some attention when he made MLB history as the first pitcher to give up two hits or less while pitching seven or more innings during a series win against the Mets. In this same game, Musgrove was accused of cheating. As reported by CBS Sports, Mets Manager Buck Showalter had the umpiring crew check Musgrove’s ears for illegal substances giving him pitching enhancement. Musgrove ended up getting cleared by MLB officials of any wrongdoing. He finished that game with seven innings with no score, and also won the hearts of many, being named the “hometown hero” as he’s from El Cajon, California.

On the topic of pitchers, San Diego hasn’t always had the best of luck when it comes to its pitching crew. For this season, the team signed some powerhouse pitchers such as Seth Lugo from the New York Mets and Michael Wacha from the Boston Red Sox. Last season, the Padres also signed Josh Hader, who has become a star as the team’s closer. The Padres were able to lock in Yu Darvish for a six-year extension as well. Including fan favorite Musgrove, the Padres still have a few more pitchers in their arsenal.

One item up for discussion is the return of Tatis from this suspension. People have very mixed reviews about Padres’ star “El Niño” coming back.

“I feel like Tatis coming back does not look good for the organization, and I feel like it’s just not gonna help the team this year,” Grossmont College Baseball Player Jason Gonzales.

Alyssa Lindall, Grossmont student and Padres fan, also expressed his opinion on the franchise player’s return.
“I think it might be rocky at first to get him back into the swing of things but I am excited,” she said. “I think the energy will be great.”

Reviews from fans everywhere vary, so we shall see how Tatis performs and acts once his suspension term is up.
Big things are happening for the San Diego Padres this season. It is definitely one of the teams to watch as its batting lineup looks like “2023 version of Murderer’s Row,” as described by Tom Rumsinski from The Score.

All of San Diego and many fans across the country will be rooting for the Friars to reach even higher levels this season.