The race for the fifth spot in the rotation is heating up. With a little over three weeks a way there are a few guys making a serious run at the fifth spot. As it shapes up right now, here is how the battle for the fifth starting spot looks, keep in mind, things might continue to heat up as Opening Day approaches.
Anthony Bass- Bass is my odds on favorite to earn a spot in the Padres’ rotation. Bass has made four appearances this Spring (one start) with a 3.00 earned run average and has no record. Opponents are hitting .304 off of him but that’s nothing to worry about beacause he’s shown control and accuracy this Spring.
Andrew Cashner – The fireballer has been recovering for the better part of Spring Training, so he still has a ways to go before he can catch up to his competition and be even considered for a rotation spot. Cashner was health enough to make his Spring debut this week, and by the outcome of it, no one would have known he was injured. The right-hander throw up zeros across the board with a strike out on eleven pitches.
Robbie Erlin -Erlin is showing why he remains a top prospect in the Padres’ organization. This spring the youngster has accumulated a 2.25 ERA in two games for the Friars. He also has a 1-0 record. Although he is having a nice Spring, I don’t see Erlin making the rotation on opening day. He’ll be better off in Tucson and get a called-up sometime this year.
Freddy Garcia- Garcia could make the rotation if he finishes this spring strong, because his early numbers aren’t too good. Garcia hasnt picked up a win this spring as he’s 0-2 with a horrendous 13.50 ERA this Spring. His numbers are not to impressive, but I think he’ll bounce back.
Casey Kelly – Kelly needs to work a little bit more on his velocity this spring. He’s had great spring outings and some terrible ones. All together, Kelly has a 0-0 record with a 7.71 ERA in seven innings pitched. At this point in time, I see Kelly not making the roster to get more seasoning in the minors.
Donn Roach – Roach is a beast. Josh Byrnes practically stole him from the Angels last year. The 23-year-old right hander is making a serious bid for a rotation spot, although I think he will end up in Tucson once Opening Day gets here. Roach has pitched in three games this Spring as he has no record with a 2.25 ERA and the opposition is batting .214 against him.
Tyson Ross – Ross has struggled this Spring, but has shown new form in his last start. I still like Ross to make the rotation, but he has to show more improvement. In four games this year (two starts), Ross owns a 2-2 record and a 4.09 ERA. If Ross doesn’t make the rotation straight-out then he will probably be headed to Triple-A Tucson since he would be a wasted arm in the bullpen.
Sean ‘O Sullivan – The native San Diegan has been a pleasant surprise this Spring. I don’t think he will crack the 25-man roster but his effort is being noticed. O’ Sullivan has pitched in four games this spring (two starts) and has put together a respectable pitching line going 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. in just eight full innings pitched. He’s also struck out two and walked three.
Let us know in the comment box below who you would like to see anchor the last spot of the rotation?