With the resigning of veteran pitcher Craig Stammen, the San Diego Padres appear to have completed building a bullpen that will be the envy of all of baseball.
Lacking the financial flexibility or willingness to surrender top prospects, San Diego Padres General Manager AJ Preller has failed to add significant depth to the 2020 starting rotation.
Everyone who follows baseball knows that the key to a successful team is the pitching depth.
So what do you do when you are unable to add any significant talent to an inexperienced starting rotation?
You add major talent to the bullpen to shorten the game for the starters.
If the Padres rotation can cover 5 innings per game in 2020 they have a heavy weight group behind them to lock things down. The depth chart for the bullpen on Padres.com features many tested and several untested quality arms that intend to do just that.
The Padres organization has long been known for building quality bullpens, sometimes on the cheap. With the departure of longtime pitching coach, Darren Balsley, there will be a new approach with the pitching staff in 2020.
Newcomer Larry Rothschild, well respected in baseball circles, will inherit a group of bullpen candidates to choose from that should have him anxious to get to spring training.
Rothschild, longtime pitching coach for the New York Yankees, was hired by the Padres to replace Balsley after both were fired this offseason.
Among the attributes Rothschild possesses that might be attractive to the Padres organization is his advanced use of analytics as well as his reputation for pushing his pitchers to try new things. Yankees pitchers have consistently maintained an ERA in the top 5-10 in the AL.
Coming to San Diego, Rothschild inherits a young staff with veteran Craig Stammen, the “Dad” of the group (Dad was Stammen’s name on the Players Weekend jersey).
Closer Kirby Yates, also a strong leader in the bullpen, might still get the contract extension I have been anticipating all offseason. It only makes sense to keep the back end of the bullpen stable with all the young talent that has to mature at the major league level.
Following is a look at the depth of the Padres bullpen going into the 2020 season. The first season of a new decade that is expected to be drastically different from the past decade.
A decade of winning.