Grading the San Diego Padres Offseason Starting Pitching Additions
With the hot stove (more like luke warm to this point) season about three-quarters of the way done, it’s time to address what the Padres have done this offseason.
With yesterday’s contract extension to Brad Hand, the team’s front office has done everything possible to make the major league team better for the 2018 season. From being in on the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, being mentioned as the front-runners for Eric Hosmer, and actually addressing their ghosts of shortstop pasts by acquiring Freddy Galvis.
A.J.Preller and company have had a solid off-season to date. He wanted to add starting pitching depth. Check. He wanted to add bullpen depth. Check. He wanted to acquire a starting shortstop. Check.
The aforementioned Hosmer would only make this off-season that much better. Although the longer the “Hosmer watch” goes on, the more likely it seems he will not become a Padre. At least that’s what my gut tells me.
This team still has unfinished business. Finding a backup catcher is still on the agenda. Finding some depth in triple-AAA would be helpful too. And there is still a surplus of outfielders and infielders to make decisions on as well.
The first part of the off-season report card will be on the starting pitching. Needing to add depth to an unproven rotation, the front office set out to add enough arms to have some intriguing battles for what looks like will be the last two spots in the rotation.
With Clayton Richard, Dinelson Lamet, and Luis Perdomo all but locks for the first three spots, the battle for the last two spots could be the most exciting part of Spring Training.
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There are three pitchers returning from injury in Robbie Erlin, Colin Rea, and Matt Strahm. Two free agents signed to minor league deals in former Friars Tyson Ross and Chris Young. A re-sign from last year in Jordan Lyles. And one more acquired via trade in Bryan Mitchell.
While none of the names listed will make fans dream of World Series titles, there is some decent depth and lots of upside here. Plus with prospects in the minor leagues only being a year off at best, some of these players could be used for trade bait at the deadline.
Off-season starting pitching grade: A-
Projected starting five with a sixth starter as a spot starter/long man:
1) Dinelson Lamet
2) Tyson Ross
3) Clayton Richard
4) Luis Perdomo
5) Bryan Mitchell
6) Jordan Lyles
With the way the team is now constructed, this rotation makes the most sense. It also gives them real depth to choose should someone suffer an injury or have a slow start to the season.
It also lets the pitchers recovering from injury get their feet underneath them again without having the pressure of having to make the club out of camp.
Heck on paper, it looks like the -AAA staff at El Paso will be the best it’s been since becoming an affiliate of the franchise. It could go five to six deep too.
Rays Colored Glasses
An A- grade might seem generous to some. But not when the bar was never set very high to begin with. This team may not end up with a winning record, but it will be better than last years version.
This is not a team expected to tank. Not when you add the pieces they have added. With a little more than a month to Spring Training starting, there is still time to upgrade and put some finishing touches to it too.
The “Hosmer watch” is still ongoing until it isn’t. And a backup catcher and the surplus of infielders and outfielders still need some sorting out too. Lots of work done with lots still undetermined.
It has been a slow simmering hot stove season so far. But between now and the time pitchers and catchers report next month we should see a flurry of movement that will chang that considerably.
For this article on the San Diego Padre starting pitching off-season report card. We see the plan the front office had in place all along. Adding small pieces to the rotation while waiting for the first wave of prospects to get another year of development.
What grade would you give the San Diego Padre starting pitcher additions.
Next: Multiple Padres Top Prospects Will Be in MLB Spring Training