It’s that time of year again. September 1st. The day many up and coming prospects have circled on their calendars. If you don’t know already, in the month of September MLB roster’s expand from 25 to 40, allowing the entire 40 man roster to be in the big leagues. For the Padres they have added 3 men to the roster today.
Robbie Erlin is the name that should be most familiar with Padres’ fans. Erlin has made 20 appearances over the past 2 seasons, including 17 starts. This year was hit or miss when Erlin was on the mound before he hit the DL. Half of his starts were quality starts, going at least 6 innings while allowing 3 or fewer runs, but the other half lacked quality. When he was finally activated last month the emergence of Jesse Hahn and Odrisamer Despaigne as well as Andrew Cashner‘s imminent return blocked him from rejoining the rotation. Now in his return he’ll likely be used out of the bullpen, unless the team decides to go with a 6 man rotation which is unlikely. Even though he probably won’t be starting, it’ll still be good to see what he looks like coming off an injury that has kept him out of action for so long. He’s only 23 and could play a role in the Padres future.
Another name that Padre fans might have heard is infielder Cory Spangenberg, the Padres’ first round draft choice in 2011. After taking him with the 10th overall pick there was high expectations for the young third baseman, but he’s failed to live up to the hype thus far. He’s fallen out MLB.com’s top 20 Padre prospects and is only 13th in our own Padre prospect rankings. In a draft they had George Springer, Jose Fernandez and Sonny Gray drafted after him it’s easy to be disappointed, but his recent success might salvage the pick. In 66 games with AA San Antonio he hit .331 with 17 doubles and 14 stolen bases. We can give up on him being any sort of power threat as he has just 12 homers in his 4 seasons in the minors, but if he can get on base at a high rate he could find a home here. With the infield in astate of flux for 2014 now is his chance to standout above the rest of the Padre infielders.
The final guy is Leonel Campos. It hasn’t been a banner year for the 27 year old Campos. He’s split his time between AA San Antonio and AAA El Pas and has posted a 6.34 ERA in 82 and 1/3 innings. It’s a far cry from his 1.61 ERA over 67 innings in 2013 while spending his time in High A Fort Wayne and San Antonio. Maybe the decision to start him in AAA this year where he gave up 15 runs in 10 innings caused his downfall, or maybe it was the decision to make him a starter when he returned to AA where he had an ERA of 6.61. Regardless of what is was something went wrong for Campos and it doesn’t seem to be getting better as he posted a 8.27 ERA in the month of August. I don’t get to see him everyday, so he may be pitching better than his stats indicate, but it seems odd to give a guy who has struggled as much as Campos a spot on the 40 man roster.