Roster Continues to Shrink

By Editorial Staff

The Padres sent pitchers Ryan Webb, Luis Perdomo, Cory Luebke, and Radhames Liz to the minors yesterday, cutting the team’s roster to 38 (18 pitchers and 20 position players).

Luebke doesn’t have much experience above A-ball and isn’t on the 40-man roster, so it would have been a huge shock for him to make the team, although he performed decently this spring. Liz struggled to an 8.22 ERA; Webb and Perdomo were even worse, posting 18.00 ERAs.

Liz hasn’t shown any ability to pitch in the majors. In 110 innings, he’s posted a 7.50 ERA. How anyone can stick around for 110 innings at that level of performance is beyond me. He throws in the mid-90’s, but his heater has very little movement. He lacks a consistent breaking ball and has weak command. Liz does throw a strong changeup, and he got his walks under control in the minors last year, but he clearly needs more seasoning.

Webb also has some command issues, and his high-90’s moving heater has been woefully ineffective in the big leagues. He was acceptable for the Padres last year, but the emergence of Adam Russell and Sean Gallagher makes Webb expendable for April. Here’s hoping he figures out how to throw quality strikes with the fastball in Portland.

Perdomo, like Webb, was passable in San Diego last year, but struggled with homers (1.65 HR/9) and walks (5.10 BB/9). He has a solid fastball-changeup combination, but his hard slider, which he relies on heavily, wasn’t fooling anyone last year. A Rule 5 pick, he hadn’t pitched in Triple-A before 2009, so it can’t hurt him to get some looks there.

Only 13 cuts remain. Dusty Ryan and Chris Stewart are likely to catch in Triple-A, and stand very little chance of making the team behind Yorvit Torrealba and Nick Hundley. Cesar Carrillo, Ernesto Frieri, and the NRI pitchers stand virtually no chance of making the pitching staff, leaving Sean Gallagher, Adam Russell, Tim Stauffer, Wade LeBlanc, and Clayton Richard in a battle for three pitching spots.

Matt Antonelli and Luis Durango will need everyday Triple-A at-bats, so on the hitting side, Aaron Cunningham, Chris Denorfia, and Matt Stairs are battling for the final roster spot.

So even though there are 13 cuts remaining, there are really only eight players vying for four spots. Keep an eye on those battles as spring training enters its final full week.