Yesterday we looked at a few players whose stock soared in the second week of spring training. Today, we looked at those less fortunate.
The biggest takeaway during the second week of spring training, for me, was that the fifth starter isn’t as straight forward as we thought. Given that Joey Lucchesi led the San Diego Padres pitching staff in innings a year ago, I think it was a foregone conclusion that he would easily grab the job last spot in the rotation. With the thought that Cal Quantrill, MacKenzie Gore, among others, would have to dazzle to uproot him.
However, Lucchesi has been roughed up in his three starts, including a four-run, two-out clunker on Saturday. He’s struggled to find his command this spring, which also plagued him last year. Combined with Quantrill’s .143 average against in two appearances and Gore’s eight-pitch debut, it’s safe to say that the pressure is on.
Let’s look at a few other players whose stock took a hit last week.
The former Miami Marlins top prospect reported to camp down a tremendous amount of weight, and he was pegged as potentially taking the fourth of fifth outfielder role. However, through six games, Josh Naylor has a .214/.267/.214 line with just three hits and one RBI. Given how well Taylor Trammell has performed this spring, the Padres could use one of three remaining options on Naylor to begin the year at Triple-A El Paso.
Mejia is a repeat offender on this topic, tabbed as an underperformer last week as well, and the Padres appear to be lacking faith in him. Through eight games, he is still without a hit and hasn’t thrown out a runner in three opportunities. Look for Luis Torrens to take advantage of Mejia’s disappointing spring.
Dozier was brought in days before spring training games began, and he had every intention of grabbing the open second base gig. However, he is tied for a team-leading seven strikeouts with just one RBI in six games. Jurickson Profar is likely to be your Opening Day starter at second with Greg Garcia as his backup. Jason Vosler should also be in the mix for playing time.
It was just one start, but every pitch matters for those looking to crack the rotation. Morejon is one of a handful looking to take the final spot in the rotation, but he didn’t do himself any favors in Wednesday’s start against the Kansas City Royals. He recorded just one out while allowing five hits, six earned runs, and a walk.