With numerous options for 2017’s rotation, spring training will be more intriguing than usual for fans of the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres have various options as far as their rotation goes, making spring training a critical period for a young staff. General manager A.J. Preller has been busy this offseason, emphasizing pitching as the top priority.
Tuesday’s move which brought in 24-year-old Tyrell Jenkins rounded out a productive offseason in pitching acquisitions. Presumptive ace Clayton Richard was re-signed, and the Padres also added Jhoulys Chacin.
The future of Tyson Ross who was non-tendered is still uncertain. Also, Jake Peavy and Jered Weaver, two pitchers tied with the organization, have not yet come to terms. At this point, it seems less and less likely they will.
Regardless, the stage is set for a wide open competition in the spring. And the Padres wouldn’t want it any other way, as they could use a good look at all of the young talent they have accumulated.
Richard is the most experienced at 33 years old, and also has the advantage of being left-handed. For these reasons, he will enter with the best chance to take on the role of ace.
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Beyond that though, even the club itself most likely doesn’t have an idea of who will occupy the remaining four openings. On the depth chart, Christian Friedrich, Luis Perdomo, and Jarred Cosart round out the rotation. But along with them, 28-year-old Paul Clemens and 25-year-old César Vargas are also in the mix.
With nine options for the starting rotation currently on the roster, this pitching staff is very deep. The good news is, whoever does not make the rotation can serve as insurance in AAA or in the big league club’s minor league system. It also makes for a very intriguing and revealing spring for fans, one which is critical to the future of the pitching staff and the development of the young arms.
Since 2017 isn’t expected to be a year San Diego will contend, they can devote more time during the spring to evaluating their staff and putting together a rotation. consistency is key, so making this rotation one which doesn’t need to be changed every time around will serve both the team well and the pitchers well in their development.