Padres Editorials: What Should Padres Bullpen Be Today?

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Oct 4, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Kevin Quackenbush (59) in the seventh inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Kevin Quackenbush (59) in the seventh inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

This article is also dedicated to Thomas L. Webber for the same reason I explained in my article focused on the Padres’ rotation. This piece isn’t just about who should make the bullpen, but what the roles should be. As with my article on the lineup and rotation, this will be using just the players currently on the roster or in the organization.

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In the hopes of not spoiling the rotation article, I advise that you read that one first as the arms not in the rotation will be up for grabs in this one.

The men fighting for the three basic spots are as follows:

Long relief: Carlos Villanueva, Odrisamer Despaigne

Middle relief: Luis Perdomo, Cory Mazzoni, Cesar Vargas, Josh Martin, Blake Smith, Buddy Baumann

Late relief: Kevin Quackenbush, Brandon MaurerNick Vincent, Drew Pomeranz, Jon Edwards, Tayron Guerrero

After 13 spots are taken up on the roster for position players and five more for starters, there are seven left for relievers.

Let’s give away slots to the guys we know will be making the roster. Then their roles will be covered. For reasons highlighted in the starting rotation article, Despaigne should be released or sent down. Villanueva makes this mock roster. So too do Maurer, Pomeranz, Quackenbush, and Vincent. That leaves two slots. Perdomo needs to stay on the 25-man roster to stay in the organization as he was a Rule 5 pick.

The last roster spot is actually a rather easy pick. If the Padres were to trade any of these guys, Guerrero should be given a shot. Between AA and AAA last year, Guerrero threw 56 innings and posted a 3.05 ERA in hitter-friendly territory. He’s wind but has a seriously live arm, throwing in the mid- to upper-90s. Perhaps because of that stuff, Guerrero gives up a low amount of hits but a high degree of walks – 5.0 K/9 in 2015. But he remains a perennial top prospect, ranking number 12 on MLB.com. Having just turned 25, it’s a shame his control hasn’t improved. If it had, he would likely be tabbed as the relief ace for 2016.

The last spot then comes down to lefty Buddy Baumann and Jon Edwards. Baumann would make his first roster and his Major League debut. He spent the last three seasons on Kansas City’s AAA team posting ERAs of 2.76, 3.20, and 3.04 respectively (cumulative 3.04). Included in those 216 innings are 17 starts. But those are overshadowed by his 87 relief appearances.

Edwards battled cancer and was then traded to San Diego in the Will Venable deal. He closed out 23 games in AAA in 2015 with a 1.23 ERA. In San Diego, he picked 10.2 innings and had a 3.38 ERA. Considering that the Padres already have a lefty, Edwards seems the better choice heading into his age 27 season.

For their roles, click over to the next page.

Next: More Rotation Options

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