As part of MLB’s proposal for the 2020 season, the Padres would be able to expand their roster to 30 players. How does MacKenzie Gore fit in?
While MLB owners and the MLBPA continue their discussions regarding player safety, testing, and eventually, the economics of a 2020 season, the Padres will need to determine who may fit on the expanded roster.
As part of MLB’s proposal, rosters will reportedly expand to 30 active players with a taxi squad of 50 players that can be with the club. And while MacKenzie Gore was expected to make his major league debut at some point, he is virtually a lock to make the expanded roster if the season begins around July 4.
Gore was named the 2019 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after posting a combined 1.69 ERA between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A Amarillo. The former third overall pick of the 2017 MLB Draft recently turned 21, but he has all the makings of a future ace in the Padres rotation.
Does the question then shift to how does he fit into an already crowded rotation? We know that Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Garrett Richards will fill in the top three slots. Zach Davies is expected to be named the fourth starter after being acquired in the offseason.
Obviously, an injury in the rotation would provide clarity to Gore’s path, but in a make-shift season, the Padres may have to get creative. One option is to have a six-man rotation. Typically, at least one team rolls out this alternative every year for whatever reason; injuries, playing time, etc.
There is a strong chance that Quantrill or Lucchesi ends up moving to the bullpen anyway, but opportunities will be limited there as well. It’s a good problem to have, especially considering that Luis Patino is coming, too.
If the MLBPA can agree to the monetary aspect for the risk they are taking, Jayce Tingler would have to get creative to carve out regular starts for Gore.