Checking in on the competition for the 5th spot in the rotation


Who will win this 5th spot in the starting rotation for the San Diego Padres? There is strong competition this Spring between 3 pitchers: Cory Luebke, Wade LeBlanc and Dustin Moseley.

Dustin Moseley will have a spot on the roster when the season starts, whether it is as a long reliever in the pen or as the 5th starter depends on how the rest of the spring plays out. He has pitched in 2 games so far this spring and has yet to give up a run in his 5 innings of play. He makes hitters put the ball in play and forces a lot of ground balls. He has looked STRONG so far and if he continues his great play, then he should take the spot.

Cory Luebke is having a strong spring also, pitching in 3 games and holding a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA and 8 strikeouts. He made his big league debut last season with the Friars and pitched in 4 games finishing with a 1-1 record and a 4.08 ERA showing a lot of poise in his starts. He Would be another lefty starter in the rotation if he claims that 5th spot.

Wade LeBlanc has struggled to keep pace in the competition for the 5th spot. He battled through his start yesterday against the Dodgers to stay in the race for that spot. He is 0-1 in the spring with a inflated ERA of 8.31 in 8.2 innings with 9 strikeouts. LeBlanc started 25 games last season and finished with a record of 8-12. He will need to finish off the spring very strong if he wants to be part of the rotation.

There have been talks about opening up the season with a 4 man rotation since we have 3 off days at the beginning of the season. If that is the case, both Luebke and LeBlanc probably wont be a part of the opening day roster and their spot will be used for another reliever for the pen. They would then be brought back up to the big leagues at the end of the first home stand to make their start.

I would love to see either Luebke or Moseley take the spot in the rotation. I like the idea of having Moseley in that long reliever role where he could be brought back into the rotation if someone goes down with an injury or struggles during the season. Both pitchers have looked good this Spring and we will just have to watch how the rest of it plays out.