Sep 23, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) delivers a pitch during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. The Marlins won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
THE STARTING ROTATION
With all the changes the Padres made in December, one item that was barely touched was the starting rotation. The Padres had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball last year, and they have managed to retain their top three starters while making significant upgrades to their offense.
Only Jesse Hahn, who was sent to the A’s in the trade for Derek Norris, and fifth starter Eric Stults, who elected free agency after being designated for assignment, are gone from last year’s rotation. The troika of Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy are still planning to accompany the Padres on their trip to the postseason this year. But the final two positions remain to be determined.
And it’s unclear at this point whether those final two positions will be the number four and five positions in the rotation, or perhaps something more exciting.
The most recent large-scale rumor had the Padres potentially trading Wil Myers to the Phillies for staff ace and Rancho Bernardo native Cole Hamels. While that rumor hasn’t maintained traction over the last week, it does show that Preller may not be content merely to fill in the back of the rotation; he may be looking to bring in another top starter, which would give the Padres one of the most formidable rotations in baseball.