Padres: Predicting the 30-man roster as summer camp opens

The Padres Summer Camp opened up on Wednesday, and we predict how the 30-man roster is going to shake out.

Late Sunday, the Padres released their initial player pool, consisting of 52 names, leaving eight spots open in which general manager AJ Preller can do as he pleases. As part of the league’s return-to-play plan, two stipulations factor into each player being added to the player pool:

  1. If a player is not on the 40-man roster, he cannot be removed from the 60-man roster unless he is released.
  2. If a player is on the 40-man roster, he can be removed from the 60-man roster, but he would be exposed to waivers first.

So as the Padres officially opened up their first-ever Summer Camp, we’ll be paying close attention to interesting storylines, players’ health, and, of course, roster battles. The league has allowed rosters to expand to 30 players for the first two weeks, decreasing by two in each of the following two weeks and settling at 26 for the rest of the way.

Who makes the 30-man roster when the season opens at the end of the month? We have some ideas.

Starting Pitchers (6)

Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Garrett Richards, Zach Davies, Joey Lucchesi, Cal Quantrill

The starting rotation is fairly straight forward, except when it comes to the back end. Just like in March, there is going to be a fun battle between Lucchesi and Quantrill for the final rotation spot. I don’t have MacKenzie Gore or Luis Patino cracking the Opening Day roster, but that could change if there are injuries. Cole Wilcox will be added to the player pool, but I doubt he has any significant innings in 2020.

Relief Pitchers (7)

Kirby Yates, Emilion Pagan, Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz, Matt Strahm, Luis Perdomo, Pierce Johnson

How stacked is this bullpen? It’s a significant reason why the Padres have a good chance to make the postseason, and possibly more, in a 60-game year. Preller went out in the offseason and got himself Pagan to bolster the bullpen. That move is looking strong right now. I struggled with the final spot in the ‘pen between Pierce Johnson and Jose Castillo, but that’s a good problem to have going forward. The final reliever and rotation spots will be the best battles to watch in camp.

 

Infielders (8)

Eric Hosmer, Jurickson Profar, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado, Greg Garcia, Ty France, Jorge Mateo, Jake Cronenworth

Like the rotation, this is relatively easy to determine. Besides second base, all three players are set in stone, unless an injury happens. I have Garcia backing up Profar at second and France being used everywhere. Are the Padres really going to utilize Mateo in the outfield?

Catchers (3)

Austin Hedges, Francisco Mejia, Luis Torrens

Introducing the universal DH in 2020 presents a good problem for the Padres. That means they can get Mejia’s bat in the lineup nearly every day. However, that also means they need to carry a third (and potentially fourth) catcher. Does Luis Campusano crack the roster?

Outfielders (6)

Wil Myers, Trent Grisham, Tommy Pham, Taylor Trammell, Josh Naylor, Franchy Cordero

No surprises here, but there will be if Mateo is in centerfield. That means Pham is likely delegated to the DH role, but then how do you split time at catcher between Mejia and Hedges? If Mateo stays on the infield, it paints a clearer picture, but the Padres still have to figure out how to get Trammell regular playing time.

Do you agree with our 30-man roster projection?