The next time that Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres will be facing the 2023 NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers will be in spring training of 2024, what with the Padres missing out on the postseason festivities thanks to an overwhelmingly disappointing season. But that doesn't seem to have sapped Soto's confidence one bit, as he believes that the Padres can still go toe-to-toe with one of the league's best teams despite the Padres' underperformance this season.
Speaking to retired shortstop Jimmy Rollins of MLB on TBS: Leadoff, Soto fired a warning shot towards the Dodgers, even going as far as to say that they should not be worried about the NL West champions, but rather, they should be worried about the Padres.
“I think, we don't worry about them. They should be worrying about us. I mean, we showed up last year. We showed them what we have in the playoffs, and we just came up, play good baseball and beat them,” the Padres left fielder said. “Our bullpen is great. We have one of the best bullpens in the league. We don't worry about anybody.”
"We're not worrying about them. They should be worrying about us… We have one of the best bullpens in the league… We don't worry about anybody."
Juan Soto on the Padres rivalry with the Dodgers 🗣pic.twitter.com/Mjo2OklHb7
— ClutchPoints MLB (@ClutchpointsMLB) September 30, 2023
Those are confident words from Juan Soto, especially given how the Padres' 2023 season has turned out. Perhaps they should be worrying about their opposition more. They have underperformed their run differential (+98) to a considerable degree, thanks, perhaps, to an inability to deliver in the clutch (or by failing to sequence their hits in an ideal manner).
Nevertheless, confidence is never bad in a professional sports setting. So to see Soto and company look forward to the evergreen challenge that is the Dodgers' NL West reign of terror is a good sign when it comes to righting the ship come the 2024 season.