The San Diego Padres took an important step towards beginning 2017 with a healthy roster, as they reinstate seven players from the 60-day Disabled List.
This week, there is finally positive news for the San Diego Padres. The organization made progress by reinstating seven players from the 60-day DL on Tuesday, moving towards complete health once again.
Among the seven players returning, six are members of a thin pitching staff. Right-handers Cesar Vargas, Tyson Ross, Erik Johnson, Jon Edwards and Carter Capps now return to the active roster, as well as left-hander Robbie Erlin.
Most notably, Ross and Capps are healthy following concerning injuries for San Diego fans. Capps, who will likely serve as the team’s closer in 2017, should be ready for Opening Day after he underwemt Tommy John surgery in March. The same holds true for Ross, 2016’s Opening Day starter, as he will be in the mix to be the Padres’ ace.
Vargas and Edwards are expected to provide bullpen depth in 2017 if they are indeed able to return by Opening Day, which is likely.
Johnson on the other hand will not be avaliable until 2018. Following Tommy John surgery last month, the righty’s future with the organization is uncertain.
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The lone position player coming off of the disabled list this week was infielder and outfielder Cory Spangenberg. The 25-year-old played 108 games in 2015, but was limited to 14 last season in which he was merely a defensive substitute. The news of his renewed health is encouraging though, as the Pennsylvania native could provide depth at any position and versatility in the lineup.
Removing these players from the disabled list opens up options for the team as they seek to improve their roster this winter. It is one step A.J. Preller can take to begin evaluating his players and making critical decisions which will dominate the headlines in coming weeks.
Now, the next step is to begin this evaluating process. As the DL is now clear and the Padres are as healthy as they’re going to get this offseason, it is time for the team to turn their attention towards free agency. The long agenda of the winter is only just getting underway for the Padres, as the team has a lot of work ahead of them.