The San Diego Padres are in the process of finalizing their starting rotation for Opening Day, but it will not include Brandon Maurer, who returns to the bullpen after a rough spring training. He’s allowed 16 runs in three separate outings.
Maurer, a former pitching prospect for the Seattle Mariners, initially began his big league career as a starting pitcher. He posted similar results to his spring showing in San Diego with a 6.30 ERA in 14 starts as a rookie in 2013.
Traded to the Padres for Seth Smith, Maurer found his niche in the bullpen, going 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 51 innings and the lowest WHIP in his career last season. Featuring four pitches as a starter and a similar physical build to Tyson Ross, the Padres hoped Maurer could return to a big league rotation for the first time since his rookie season, but he will instead stay in the pen where he’s shown his greatest effectiveness.
“We thought it was in our best interest going into today to thin the herd,” Green said. “We want to go ahead and get (Maurer) back acclimated to being in the bullpen, putting him in a position where we think he’s going to be very successful — he was successful in that role last year.” (San Diego Tribune)
The first three spots in the Padres’ starting rotation are set with Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner, while the trio of Robbie Erlin, Colin Rea, and Brandon Morrow battle for the remaining two spots.