Now that the San Diego Padres have given James Shields a four-year, $75 million dollar contract, let’s take a look at how the Padres’ starting five pitchers compare to the other teams in the division. The Padres have definitely improved their already formidable staff, and there depth is outstanding. The current starting staff consists of Shields, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Odrisamer Despaigne and a hopefully healthy Brandon Morrow. That’s six total pitchers for a starting staff of five. Somebody has to go to the bullpen, your guess is as good as mine.
A lot will depend on how each pitcher throws during the spring. Robbie Erlin and Casey Kelly are two young pitchers that would probably be counted on in previous seasons. With the Padres’ incredible depth, those two young pitchers as well as Matt Wisler (the #53 ranked prospect in all MLB) just will not be counted on to throw in 2015 for the Major League team. Josh Johnson and Cory Luebke are coming off injury, and might be able to contribute come July or August. Rounding out the list of starters is Brandon Maurer who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for Seth Smith. Maurer will most likely pitch out of the bullpen, but he could be a long shot to start. That kind of crazy depth is unreal.
If someone succumbs to injury, then it really wouldn’t be a big deal. A very nice position to be in. Very nice indeed. With A.J. Preller’s propensity for the dramatic, the rotation could change in a matter of a phone call or two. Andrew Cashner has already been rumored to be on the radar for a potential deal involving Cole Hamels. If or when that will happen remains to be seen, but just know that Preller’s tinkering hasn’t ended.
Perhaps he will look at all this depth and deal someone in the back end for a shortstop or upgrade somewhere else. Who really knows? The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have above average rotations, while the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are struggling to find identities to their respective rotations. The race does figure to go down to the Dodgers, Padres and Giants in the end. Now let’s take a look at each team’s rotation, excluding the Padres. It’s pretty obvious where each rotation ranks. Let’s delve into each rotation in an attempt to see how the Padres rank against them.