Jake Cronenworth was looking like a sure roster cut prior to Eric Hosmer’s injured list stint. Which Padres could be on the outside looking in?
As part of MLB’s return-to-play plan, rosters were initially set at 30 players, reducing to 28 players after two weeks, and then to 26 weeks after four weeks. And while rosters will no longer reduce to 26 players anymore, the Padres will have to make a couple of difficult decisions ahead of Thursday’s roster deadline.
Before Eric Hosmer landed on the 10-day injured list, the seldom-used Jake Cronenworth appeared to be a lock to among those cut; however, he’s filled in well at first base. And when Hosmer comes off the IL, it’s entirely plausible that Cronenworth and Jurickson Profar platoon second base in some fashion.
Cronenworth was part of the Tommy Pham trade with the Tampa Bay Rays last December, and while Pham has already provided a spark for the Padres offense, the team wasn’t sure what they had in the two-player. Pitching won’t be an option. Manager Jayce Tingler already made that clear, but the universal DH allows some flexibility when Hosmer is activated.
Especially given Francisco Mejia’s lack of offense, there’s no justification to have both he and (Austin) Hedges in the lineup. Still, ahead of Thursday’s deadline, these five players could be on the outside looking in.