Opening Day is approaching in MLB, and San Diego Padres star Juan Soto is ready and excited for the start of the season, according to Kevin Acee of San Diego Union-Tribune.

“I am really excited to be healthy to play Opening Day,” Juan Soto said, via Acee.

Soto spent a good part of the spring with Team Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic with his teammate Manny Machado, but now he is back with the Padres and preparing for the start of the season. He has been dealing with an oblique issue, but is said to be ready to go for Opening Day.

The Padres will open the season at home against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

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Soto was good when he was traded to the Padres in the middle of the 2022 season, but it was not to the level that fans have been used to from his days with the Washington Nationals. He posted a .236 batting average with a .388 on-base percentage with a .778 OPS and 130 OPS+ in 52 games with the Padres last year. Soto's OPS+ with the Nationals was 159 before he was traded.

Soto himself said that he is healthy going into Opening Day. That, along with familiarity in where he will be playing is something that should give Padres fans optimism regarding Soto's 2023 season.

Soto, along with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts are expected to do the heavy-lifting for the Padres on offense. Machado seems settled in to San Diego. Fernando Tatis Jr. will miss the first 20 games of the season, but he is a proven talent as well. Xander Bogaerts will have to adjust to playing in a new park, but he is a proven hitter as well. With Soto healthy and ready to go, Padres fans have plenty of reason for optimism.