An EVT roundtable on 2021 San Diego Padres spring training

Credit: EVT Sports

Credit: Padres

An EVT roundtable look at the San Diego Padres spring training. which begins on Wednesday. 

Pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training mark the return of the San Diego Padres.

The expectations and feel for this spring training will never be the same. After the 2020 season and the very busy offseason that followed, there are very high expectations surrounding the Padres. Also, given the COVID-19 pandemic that cut the 2020 spring training and regular season short, a minimal amount of fans will be allowed into the games, and there will be no backfield access for fans to get up and close with their favorite players.

So, yes, the Padres 2021 spring training will be different. However, it is still exciting that Padres baseball is getting closer.

Here are some storylines and questions going into spring training for the Padres and what some writers of the East Village Times think about them:

What are you most excited about for the 2021 Padres spring training?

Ryan Sikes (@LAK_Ryan):
Having a full slate of games.

James Clark (@EVT_JClark):
The new-look rotation is what excites me most. Also, how will Chris Paddack pitch with less attention on him?

Chris Spiering (@ChrisSpiering):
I’m excited to see how the new veteran pitchers work with the young talented pitching prospects. I’m also intrigued to see how Tommy Pham and Luis Campusano ignore the off-season issues and focus on winning the 2021 World Series.

Bobby Murphy (@bobbymurphy2000):
I’m excited to see more Padres baseball and hopefully go to games in Arizona. I can’t wait to see how they build off of 2020 when they’re back on the field.

Alex Yeargan (@PadresAlex):
I’m just excited to have baseball back in some capacity.

Dominic Stearn (@dmstearn19):
I want baseball back in my life, especially Padres baseball. I was at the first and last game of the 2020 Padres spring training, and I also had tickets for the NLCS if the Padres did make it – I still attended two games because I love baseball. It sucked not being able to go to the Padres’ games, and I think there will be more of a feel of that when spring training starts.

What position battle are you the most excited for?

Second base: 5
“Can Kim hit a fastball? Will Cronenworth stay consistent, especially against left-handed pitching? It’s going to be fun.” – James Clark

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

“Kim vs. Cronenworth should be the most compelling to watch.” – Chris Spiering

“There are three great players that will all compete for time there.” – Evan Anderson

“Between Kim, Cronenworth, and even Profar, it will be exciting to see who comes out hot.” – Bobby Murphy

Left field: 1

Bullpen competition: 1

Who do you think emerges as the ace of the Padres?

Yu Darvish: 3
“Yu Darvish is not a 60-game season fluke. Since the 2019 MLB All-Star break, Darvish has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball, and I would argue better than Jacob deGrom in that time frame. I also think he’s less strikeout reliant than Dinelson Lamet and Blake Snell with his crazy pitch arsenal.” – Dominic Stearn

Blake Snell: 3
“I believe Blake Snell will emerge as he is allowed to finally go deep into games.” – James Clark

“He was amazing in the World Series. A new team that believes in him has to bring out some hidden energy.” – Evan Anderson

“He’ll be motivated after getting pulled in the WS, and I expect him to run away with the competition. So many skilled arms up there though.” – Bobby Murphy

Dinelson Lamet: 1

Which Padres player emerges into a bigger role from their spring training performance?

Brian O’Grady: 2
“He is poised to compete for the 4/5th outfielder. I don’t think he wins a starting job, but he solidifies his role as the #4 outfielder. If there is a DH, he could see even more time.” – Evan Anderson

Cronenworth: 1
“After getting Kim, Cronenworth will be motivated to get his reps and try and keep his spot. I expect it to be a platoon, though.” – Bobby Murphy

IMAGE CREDIT: KYLE TERADA-USA TODAY SPORTS

Adrian Morejon: 1

Jose Castillo: 1
“If healthy, he could be in store for a big year. He will look to show a healthy arm this spring.” – James Clark

Ha-Seong Kim: 1

Joe Musgrove: 1
“We’ve seen multiple pitchers get significantly better after leaving Pittsburgh, and I think Musgrove can join that group. His stuff had never been the question, and it looked like he finally got over the hump in September last season. Now that he is playing in his hometown, he’ll be more comfortable and excel.” – Dominic Stearn

What Padres prospect puts their name on the map to get called up earlier than expected?

Ryan Weathers: 4
“I know he appeared last year, but I expect to see him earn some bullpen innings.” – Bobby Murphy

“His stuff should be able to play out of the bullpen. He also is a good depth option if a starter gets injured.” – Evan Anderson

Mason Thompson: 2
“We’ve seen the videos he posted on social media. His stuff is lively and will definitely play. For the 2021 season, it is likely that there will be an increase in injuries due to the longer season compared to 2020. I think Thompson will see a significant amount of pro time” – Dominic Stearn

James Clark cheated and listed four prospects: Mason Thompson, Jacob Nix, Mason Fox, and Steve Wilson

What do you want to see from the Padres at spring training?

Ryan Sikes (@LAK_Ryan):
I want to see the team continuing to build winning chemistry.

James Clark (@EVT_JClark):
A healthy spring will be the first goal. Beyond that, they need to show consistency in several areas.

Chris Spiering (@ChrisSpiering):
I want to see how they utilize the No. 1 prospect MacKenzie Gore and start him on the opening day roster also if they utilize a 6-man rotation.

Evan Anderson (@EvanOfficial_):
Healthy players. There may not be a better team in franchise history. Many players on the team have some injury concerns, so if the Padres remain healthy, that is a huge win.

Bobby Murphy (@bobbymurphy2000):
I’m very excited to see our top guys and who can make a push to make the opening day roster or more of a race.

Alex Yeargan (@PadresAlex):
The continuation of swinging at good pitches, laying off bad pitches, and working the count.

Dominic Stearn (@dmstearn19):
I want to see Fernando Tatis Jr. remain comfortable. Even though he bounced back in the final week and the postseason, he had that really bad stretch in September that tanked his MVP case. Tatis Jr. also had a very busy offseason with the Bolt 24 commercials, contract extension rumors, and being the cover athlete of MLB The Show 21. He needs to come in with a steady head because he is still yet to play a full 162-game season.

How would you answer these questions going into the 2021 spring training?

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Dominic Stearn on Twitter
Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the "Devils Talking Padres" podcast and is the producer and co-host of the "Padres EVT Podcast.

1 thought on “An EVT roundtable on 2021 San Diego Padres spring training

  1. Nice article Dominic!

    While more to substantiate the individual beliefs would have been nice, it was still an enjoyable look at who is expecting what from whom this spring.

    The team that win are the one who either avoid injury or have a replacement that can carry the load. I hope for an injury free spring and a year of fun camaraderie and chemistry that excited all of us last season.

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