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Revamped offense heightens Padres' expectations

Upton, Kemp and Myers give San Diego more lethal lineup

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are inching closer and closer to the start of Spring Training, as their pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, Ariz., on Thursday with the first workout set for the following day.

Our run-up to Spring Training continues today with a look at the Padres' projected lineup, rotation and the bullpen.

Manager Bud Black, entering his ninth season, has been given more resources to work with in terms of offensive weapons than he has in his first eight seasons. And there's the chance for flexibility, to move players around in the lineup with notable bench options as well.

The rotation was solidified last week when the team agreed to a four-year deal with James Shields, to give the Padres one of the most formidable rotations in the National League. The only real question is who will win the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Video: Shields 'hungry as ever' for World Series title

The bullpen, which had the second-best relief ERA (2.73) in baseball, added two power right-handed arms for the back end in Brandon Maurer and Shawn Kelley to go with Dale Thayer, Nick Vincent and Kevin Quackenbush, to set up closer Joaquin Benoit.

Bench options like outfielder Will Venable and veteran infielder Clint Barmes will give the team some defensive-minded players late in games.

Video: Matt Kemp lauds A.J. Preller for being 'rockstar GM'

2014 record
77-85, third in the National League West

Projected batting order
1. CF Wil Myers :
.222 BA, .294 OBP, .320 SLG, 6 HR, 35 RBI in 2014
2. 3B Yangervis Solarte :
.260 BA, .336 OBP, .369 SLG, 10 HR, 48 RBI in 2014
3. RF Matt Kemp :
.287 BA, .346 OBP, .506 SLG, 25 HR, 89 RBI in 2014
4. LF Justin Upton :
.270 BA, .342 OBP, .491 SLG, 29 HR, 102 RBI in 2014
5. C Derek Norris :
.270 BA, .361 OBP, .403 SLG, 10 HR, 55 RBI in 2014
6. 2B Jedd Gyorko :
.210 BA, .280 OBP, .333 SLG, 10 HR, 51 RBI in 2014
7. 1B Yonder Alonso :
.240 BA, .285 OBP, .397 SLG, 7 HR, 27 RBI in 2014
8. SS Alexi Amarista :
.239 BA, .286 OBP, .314 SLG, 5 HR, 40 RBI in 2014

Projected rotation
1. James Shields , 14-8, 3.21 ERA in 2014
2. Andrew Cashner , 5-7, 2.55 ERA in 2014
3. Tyson Ross , 13-14, 2.81 ERA in 2014
4. Ian Kennedy , 13-13, 3.63 ERA in 2014
5. Brandon Morrow , 1-3, 5.67 ERA in 2014

Projected bullpen
Closer: Joaquin Benoit, 11/12 saves, 1.49 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Shawn Kelley , 4.53 ERA in 2014
or RH setup man: Brandon Maurer , 4.65 ERA in 2014
LH setup man: Alex Torres , 3.33 ERA in 2014

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.
Read More: San Diego Padres, Ty Ross, Alexi Amarista, Brandon Morrow, Andrew Cashner, Wil Myers, Ian Kennedy, Derek Norris, Joaquin Benoit, James Shields, Justin Upton, Alex Torres, Yangervis Solarte, Jedd Gyorko, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Maurer, Yonder Alonso, Matt Kemp