Three Padres prospects destined for expanded roster

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

With a shortened season potentially expanding rosters to 30 players, which Padres prospects are likely to make the team this year?

MLB owners and the MLBPA continue to discuss the league’s proposal for a shortened season. And while dollars are the hot topic, rightfully so given the risk that players would be taking, a couple of intriguing aspects have been propositioned.

It was widely believed that the DH could potentially be implemented as part of the league’s next collective bargaining agreement. However, a universal DH seems to be on the table in 2020 to reduce the number of injuries across the league.

Also, rosters would expand to 30 players with a “taxi squad” of 50 players that could be with the team. With the league already expanding to a 26-man roster in what would have been a normal year, there is obviously more opportunities for prospects to earn regular playing time.

Which guys might be up with the team for a shortened season?

1. MacKenzie Gore

The most obvious one here. Gore is the team’s top pitching prospect and was named the 2019 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He hasn’t pitched above Double-A yet, but he could earn a significant amount of starts this year. The tricky part is the rotation is already crowded, but he could either be part of a six-man rotation or the team’s fifth starter if an injury pops up.

2. Taylor Trammell

Trammell has performed well since coming over in the Trevor Bauer three-team trade last year. He was playing lights out in spring training, and there was some discussion that he could crack the Opening Day roster as the team’s fourth outfielder. But in an expanded roster scenario, Trammell almost certainly makes the team. And if there is a universal DH, that should open the door for nearly regular playing time with either Josh Naylor or Wil Myers no longer playing in the field.

3. Owen Miller

I really wanted to go with Edward Olivares here, but I am not sure how he earns regular playing time in the outfield, especially if Trammell is there. Therefore, Owen Miller makes more sense, given his versatility at second base and shortstop. He hit .290 with 13 home runs to go along with 68 RBI at Double-A last year. As noted, he can play over the infield, which makes him a good candidate. Don’t be surprised if he earns a significant amount of playing time at second base either.