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MLB San Diego Padres

5 San Diego Padres Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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5 San Diego Padres Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres made some significant moves this offseason to try and become a contender in the NL West. The focus of the rebuilding was the pitching staff. San Diego added help to both the starting rotation and the bullpen in their effort to become a contender.

The process started last season when the Padres acquired Ian Kennedy. He provided the Padres with a talented arm in the rotation, and the team followed it up by signing Josh Johnson to join him. San Diego has acquired a lot of key pieces in the field over the past few seasons, and now that there is improvement in the pitching staff, the time to compete might be now.

It all looks good for the Padres on paper, but the players still need to perform on the field. If everything goes according to plan, San Diego could find themselves in contention in the division.

This spring will give the Padres a look at what the season could look like. Here's a look at five storylines to follow in Spring Training that will give some fans insight about the 2014 Padres.

Spencer Impellizzeri is a MLB and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Spence_I

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5. Yasmani Grandal's Recovery

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Yasmani Grandal is coming off an ACL injury, and it is possible that he will be ready to go for Opening Day. Grandal would provide a boost behind the plate if healthy. After missing most of last season due to injury and suspension, the Padres want Grandal to get back as soon as possible.

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4. Casey Kelly

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This could finally be the year that Casey Kelly puts it all together after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Kelly came to Padres as a key piece in the Adrian Gonzalez trade during the 2010 offseason. He went 2-3 with a 6.21 ERA in his only major league action in 2012, but could be ready to step into a bigger role for the 2014 season.

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3. Outfield Logjam

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The battle for the outfield positions should be something to watch. There are seven outfielders with major league experience on the roster. Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin and Will Venebale should be the starting outfielders, but there are questions beyond that. Seth Smith joins Chris Denorfia, Alexi Amarista and Kyle Blanks in the battle to be the reserve outfielders.

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2. Josh Johnson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Johnson had a down year last season, going 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA. He joins San Diego this season looking to rebound. The two-time All-Star has the potential to be a dominant starter. It will be interesting to see how he performs in Spring Training.

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1. Bullpen

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres brought in Joaquin Benoit and Alex Torres to dramatically boost this year's bullpen. With that being said, they still need to produce on the field, and that should be something to watch during Spring Training.