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Padres Insider: The Relievers

The San Diego Padres are ecstatic to have Trevor Hoffman back in the lineup this year. The team is counting on him netting 40+ saves this season, with a few scraps thrown the way of Rod Beck and Akinori Otsuka. The rest of the bullpen figures to be a Cactus League battle with the youth trying to supplant the veterans. Expect a surprise or two in this strong bullpen. Here is the early word from spring training:

The Padres believe they now have one of the better bullpens in baseball. They are confident if their starters can give them six innings of work, they will get the win. RHP Trevor Hoffman, 36, didn't pitch until last September after two rounds of shoulder surgery. Padres re-signed him after buying out his option for 2004. Padres' all-time leader with 350 saves didn't register one in 2003, but...

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