San Diego Padres: Battle For The Rotation Adds More Questions


Yesterday, the San Diego Padres battled their divisional rival, the San Francisco Giants, to a 4-4 spring training tie.

Robbie Erlin made his spring debut for the San DIego Padres yesterday as the Friars tied the San Francisco Giants in Cactus League action.

Offensively, yesterday’s San Diego Padres spring training action was unimpressive. Dusty Coleman added his second home run of the spring in the ninth inning to tie the game at four. There was also a Jose Pirela triple, raising his spring training average to .421. That’s about it for the offensive output as the team adjusted to a playing day games again after two straight night performances.

Oh yeah, there was this Fernando Tatis web gem.

The real storyline coming out of yesterday’s game was the pitching staff.

Tyson Ross started the game, giving up four hits, two earned runs, and a walk through three innings. He struck out just one. Ross struggled with his command, hitting a batter and issuing a wild pitch, but said he “felt strong.”

Ross is considered by many to be the favorite for the final rotation spot. Looking at his performance overall, he’s pitched well. Ross has kept the ball on the ground and has seven strikeouts in seven innings of work. I think Ross does get the nod based on potential. He doesn’t have to regain his pre-surgery form, but if he can hold his own every five days, Ross will be a fine stopgap as a number of young pitchers in El Paso prove they are ready for the big leagues.

Add Robbie Erlin into the mix as a serious contender for the fifth starter on the Padres staff. Erlin went 2.2 innings, gave up just three hits, struck out four, and didn’t walk a single batter.

Despite the strong opening performance for Erlin, he hasn’t pitched competitively since he threw 15 innings in 2016. As he continues to rebound from Tommy John, expect Erlin in the rotation for AAA El Paso.

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The Padres return to action at noon today against the Chicago Cubs. Jordan Lyle, also in the mix for the fifth starters job, will start while Matt Strahm is also expected to see action. There will be no TV coverage for today’s game.