In our last installment of the San Diego Padres offseason decisions, we will take a look at the relief pitching decisions.
The choices the front office will have to make this hot stove season will be difficult to make. No more so than the relief pitching decisions.
With the depth General Manager A.J. Preller and his staff have accumulated throughout the organization, the choices they will make will be harder than ever.
The depth being so great that some of the relievers in double AA will more than likely begin the year there again. Which is saying a lot.
There are three to four candidates who deserve promotions. It is just that the depth from the major league team thru AAA El Paso is plentiful too. Mind you not all the relievers on those three staffs could be with the Friar organization thru the winter.
But it goes to show the extensive depth when looking at each teams roster now and what it could look like to start the spring. Everyone now with the big club could return. Which in return creates a trickle down effect.
Let’s start with the Padre relievers first. If everyone does return, on paper it doesn’t look like too bad a bullpen. Brad Hand being their closer and best reliever is a nice foundation to start with.
Craig Stammen, who is a free agent at the end of the year, has been outside of Hand their most reliable reliever. After a slow start to his year, he has looked more like the pitcher the Nationals use to have in the back-end of their pen a few years ago. Carter Capps will be fully healthy after coming back from Tommy John surgery too.
Others to include will be Jose Torres, Buddy Baumann, Kirby Yates, Kyle McGrath, and Phil Maton. All of the above mentioned names could very well make up the Friars pen.
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Which would lead us to the possibilities in the minors. Two names that stand out who have seen big league action before are Cory Mazzoni who is with triple-A El Paso, and Cesar Vargas who is with double-A San Antonio as well.
Also deserving of a look with the team is Adam Cimber, who has been El Paso’s most consistent reliever all year. And the two best double AA relievers to consider are T.J. Weir and San Antonio closer Trey Wingenter.
That’s a lot of depth for seven to eight bullpen pieces to choose from. That does include any possible free agent signings or trade possibilities either.
Looking at the possibilities of who could make up the Padre bullpen next year is as exciting as every other off-season decision the front office will have to make. The relief pitching decisions just adds to the allure of those choices.