Padres’ Points: Roster Decisions Edition

With Opening Day less than three days away, the Padres have decisions to make when it comes to getting the roster down to 25 players.

Number Five Starter

Brandon Morrow Spring Statistics: 1-2, 4.76 ERA, 17 Innings Pitched, 24 Hits, 9 Runs, .353 Opponents Average, 1.65 WHIP, 4 Walks, 12 Strikeouts

Odrisamer Despaigne: Spring Statistics : 0-2, 2.12 ERA, 17 Innings Pitched, 21 Hits, 6 Runs (4 Earned Runs), .313 Opponents Average, 1.59 WHIP, 6 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

  • Morrow and Despaigne have pitched well enough to be in the team’s starting rotation. Despite Despagine’s earned run average, spring stats aren’t always factored in with as heavy of an emphasis as other factors. Morrow’s repertoire is better for the starting rotation, and Despaigne’s crafty approach is better in the long relief role.

Conclusion:  Morrow is the team’s fifth starter and Despaigne fills the long relief role.

Third Base

Will Middlebrooks Spring Statistics: 56 Plate Appearances, .353 Batting Average, .411 On Base Percentage, .569 Slugging Percentage, 5 Doubles, 2 HR, 9 RBI, Five BB, 11 K.

Yangervis Solarte Spring Statistics: 62 Plate Appearances, .305 Batting Average, .339 On Base Percentage, .441 Slugging Percentage, 2 Doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 11 K. .

  • Middlebrooks and Solarte both played extremely well, which will make the decision very difficult for the coaching staff. Middlebrooks showed power that the club wants in the everyday lineup. Solarte is better in a utility role, but his impressive Spring shows the depth the club may potentially have.

Conclusion: Middlebrooks is the team’s everyday third basemen, though Solarte will see time at third base, second base, and even first base, especially if Yonder Alonso struggles versus left-handed pitching. 

Outfield

Carlos Quentin Spring Statistics: 44 Plate Appearances, .250 AVG, .318 OBP, .400 Slugging Percentage, 3 Doubles, HR,  6 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K.

Cameron Maybin Spring Statistics: 57 Plate Appearances, .302 AVG, .351 OBP, .396 Slugging Percentage, 2 Doubles, HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 15 K.

  • Quentin and Maybin have actually performed well enough to make the roster. The big issue is there isn’t anywhere to play either. Maybin is scheduled to make $7 million this season, while Carlos Quentin is schedule to make $8 million. It would be very difficult to move these contracts given their struggles to stay on the field. A possible scenario would keep them on the roster until there is a need for another team when the season gets going.

Conclusion: If one isn’t traded before Opening Day, both make the roster and one is dealt during the season once another club needs an outfielder or designated hitter. A minor trade such as when Nick Hundley was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles last May could be a possibility. The Padres would eat the majority of the contract, and/or get a low impact player in return. With the Padres, Quentin will get the occasional playing time in left field, first base, and be the designated hitter when the team needs one. Maybin will be a defensive replacement late in games, a bat off the bench, and play the outfield when needed.

Left Handed Reliever

Frank Garces Spring Statistics: 1-0, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 Innings Pitched, 10 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, .244 Opponents Average, 1.22 WHIP, 3 BB, 12 K.

Chris Rearick Spring Statistics: 0-0, 3.12 ERA, 8.2 Innings Pitched, 7 Hits, 3 Earned Runs, .212 Opponents Average, 1.04 WHIP, 2 BB, 10 K.

  • After the Alex Torres trade, Garces became the only active pitcher on the 40 man roster that is a left-handed reliever. He’s pitched well overall. Chris Rearick has impressed, but he was reassigned to minor league camp on Thursday. Garces has limited experience in the big leagues, while Rearick has yet to pitch above Triple-A. This could be an area of concern, especially if Garces struggles out of the gate.

Conclusion: Garces opens as the team’s lone left-handed reliever. If he struggles, the team may opt to go without a left-handed reliever, or look at other options(Rearick.)

Friar Moves

  • Jose Valverde was granted his release from the club after being informed he would not make the Opening Day roster, the Padres announced. He was 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 9 appearances this Spring.
  • As stated earlier, the Padres traded Alex Torres to the Mets in exchange for Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later, the Padres announced via press release. Mazzoni was a second round pick in the 2011 draft, and though he’s started in the minor leagues, some suggest he may be better suited in a relief role. He’ll be in Triple-A to begin the year.

Friar Notes

  • Wil Nieves earned a $100,000 retention bonus so the team would be able to take a closer look at him, reports Corey Brock. Nieves is the only healthy catcher in the organization with big league experience besides Derek Norris, though offensively he has struggled this spring, putting up a .194/.257/.226 line. The club has also reportedly have looked at options outside the organization.
  • Bud Black is one of about dozen managers that are on the hot seat this season, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
  • Baseball America released their 2015 Organization Talent Rankings, and has the Padres as 24th in baseball when ranking the club’s farm system. In 2014, the club’s system was ranked 6th. It is not surprising of the team’s drop in the rankings after A.J. Preller traded away significant prospects to acquire the group of players this offseason. It will be an important year to replenish the system with talent when Preller tackles his first draft as the General Manager in June.

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