The San Diego Padres made several roster transactions on Monday, sending a total of ten players to the minors to cut their current camp roster to 54.
There are mixed emotions for the San Diego Padres as a new week of spring training in Peoria begins. On one hand, the ten roster moves made help the Opening Day roster begin to take shape. But on the other hand, fans will no longer have the opportunity to see these prospects at camp.
Officially, six players were reassigned to minor league camp, and four were optioned.
No moves here are completely unexpected, but seeing pitchers Jason Jester and Kyle McGrath who showed some promise at camp return to the minors this soon shows that San Diego is more confident with their existing pitching staff than maybe they should be.
Fans were treated to seeing three exciting young infielders this spring in Jose Pirela, Javier Guerra, and Jose Rondon. These players are far from done though, as they are critical pieces of the organization’s future. Guerra is the seventh ranked prospect, and Rondon ranks twelfth on the team’s official top 30 prospects list.
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As for the impact of these moves on the team in 2017, sending these minor league players back to their camp just over two full weeks into spring training shows confidence in the current roster. General manager A.J. Preller and manager Andy Green have seen enough of the prospects already, and their opportunity to gain experience at a major league camp is now over.
The Padres can now focus on the players that have actually come to camp to win a roster spot, rather than those who are coming to gain experience for future seasons. This means that in the next two weeks, fans should expect to see battles for Opening Day roster spots intensify, as well as competition for starting roles.
The stakes don’t really change with a 54 man camp, but the opportunity for everyone increases. As a result, players who are in position to start on Opening Day will prepare in these exhibition games more like real games, as they will play deeper into games and closer to every day. Similarly, players looking to win roster spots will be able to get in more of a rhythm, and will have some pressure alleviated, as they know that opportunities will become more plentiful.