With all the pitching injuries across baseball this season, one of the options that has been talked about by people throughout the game is a possibility of expanding rotations from the five-man rotation that we’ve come to look at to six-man rotations with six man bullpens. The Padres could be a perfect team to experiment with the six-man rotation in September.
The Padres could have as many as eight starters, if not more, ready and available during the next month. Andrew Cashner returned last night. Jesse Hahn was sent down recently. Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland may be nearing their return. Then you have Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Eric Stults and Odrisamer Despaigne.
One of the advantages the Padres will have going into next year is their pitching depth. They can use a chip to get a bat, or due to the attrition of pitching, try to hang on to the guys they have and improve the offense in other ways and hoping that having Rymer Liriano up for a full season and having Jedd Gyorko healthy for a full season can help the offense.
Despaigne hasn’t pitched this much in a while, so it may be a good idea to skip a start or two down the stretch and use someone like Erlin in his spot. Stults has pitched well of late so it would be hard to take him out of the rotation in order to get a look at some of the younger guys.
With the strength in numbers the Padres have, all eight should get starts in September. The focus should be on 2015, and getting a look at all the arms now can help A.J. Preller take a look at who can be a part of the rotation in 2015 and beyond.