The San Diego Padres failed to meet expectations in a weird, rough 2021 season that saw them hold a Wild Card spot around midseason and then finish the year playing sub-.500 ball.
However, they remain a dangerous team, even if star player Fernando Tatis Jr. is slated to miss the first two or three months with a fractured wrist.
Part of their strength comes from their impressive rotation.
Yu Darvish has already been penciled in by manager Bob Melvin as the Opening Day starter, but the rest of the rotation for that first series agains the Arizona Diamondbacks has already been finalized, too.
“Darvish-Manaea-Musgrove first three games of season for Padres,” Padres broadcaster Jesse Agler tweeted on Monday afternoon.
Darvish-Manaea-Musgrove first three games of season for Padres.
— jesse agler (@jesseagler) April 4, 2022
Darvish had an up and down 2021, especially considering MLB’s ban to pitchers who used foreign substances on the ball.
In the end, he posted a 4.22 ERA in 166.1 innings.
A Solid Rotation Filled With Strikeout Artists And Former Cy Young Winners
He was better than his ERA suggested, though, as he finished with a solid 29.2% strikeout rate and a 3.90 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP).
Manaea is a recent trade acquisition from the Oakland Athletics: manager Bob Melvin knows him well from their time with the A’s, and knows what he can contribute.
Manaea posted a solid 3.91 ERA in 179.1 frames with Oakland in 2021.
Musgrove was the best and most consistent starter in the Padres’ rotation last year: he finished with a solid 3.18 ERA in 181.1 frames.
The fourth game of the season should go to star left-hander and former Cy Young award winner Blake Snell.
Mike Clevinger, when he reaches full health (he is currently out with some knee soreness, but is expected back before the end of the month), will complete the impressive Padres’ rotation.