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What Padres fans can look forward to in 2024

2023 is finally over and it’s a clean slate!

St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Thank goodness 2023 is over. You don’t need me to tell you but there was a lot of bad things that happened for the Padres last year. Let’s try to forget about that and start over with a clean slate! Here are some of the things Padres fans can look forward to this year!

A healthy Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis had to deal with multiple surgeries last offseason so he wasn’t able to have a regular offseason but that won’t be the case going into Spring Training in 2024. He’s been playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic for his dad’s team and things are looking good.

NL MVP coming? Might be a good bet, especially with Shohei Ohtani not pitching this coming season.

A manager that cares about winning in San Diego

Based on Bob Melvin’s comments in his introductory presser with the San Francisco Giants it didn’t seem like he cared as much as he should have about turning things around and winning with the Padres.

Mike Shildt though seems like the opposite. He has flown around the world meeting with players, including Tatis in the Dominican Republic, and had a great relationship with late chairman Peter Seidler so there’s motivation to win one for him and the city he loved so much.

“I’m going to be a big part of helping carry his vision for the San Diego Padres moving forward to ultimately us winning a first world championship, a World Series championship for the San Diego Padres and for the City of San Diego, and I’m really excited about it,” Shildt told the media when he was introduced. “That’ll be one way we can remember the great legacy of Peter Seidler.”

The debut of Yuki Matsui

Matsui was the first major league free agent signing of the offseason for A.J. Preller and I imagine most fans haven’t seen the 28-year-old pitch yet. He is coming off three consecutive sub-2 ERA seasons in Japan so there’s definitely talent there. What’s his role going to be though and will he end up being a steal? We’ll start to find out later this year!

The first matchups against Shohei Ohtani in a Dodgers uniform

Okay maybe this is something we’re not actually going to be looking forward to for the next decade but I’ll admit I’m excited to see the first time Ohtani comes to Petco Park as a Dodger. This is the best talent some of us have ever seen and we’re going to get to see him more frequently for the rest of his career. That’s pretty cool (as long as he doesn’t torch the Padres).

Upsets have happened before and there’s nothing better than beating Los Angeles when it matters most.

Not being the favorite

Wait...we should look forward to not being the favorite? Yes, that’s right.

The Padres didn’t do well with pressure on them in 2023. There was little to no pressure on them in 2022 when they went into Citi Field and Dodger Stadium and look what happened. Being the underdog could end up being a good thing for the Friars.

Don and Mud (and Tony and Jesse)

The best broadcast booth in baseball will be back in our households in a matter of weeks. Regardless of how this season will go, they always make it more entertaining.

A renovated Gallagher Square

The 20th Anniversary of Petco Park will be celebrated in 2024 and the Padres are spending nearly $20 million to renovate Gallagher Square, which will include a dog park, temporary pickle ball courts, the Tony Gwynn terrace viewing deck and turf replacing the lawn that would get brown at points during the year.