Padres: Dan Altavilla might wind up being the odd man out

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Over the next two weeks, 26-man rosters will take shape as teams close the book on spring training and turn their attention to the regular season. The San Diego Padres are among those clubs facing a handful of difficult decisions as Cactus League play starts to wind down.

We’ve talked all offseason about San Diego’s incredible depth. Well, with a 26-man roster, that depth is going to force AJ Preller to make some tough decisions. One of the likely guys on the outside looking in is right-hander Dan Altavilla.

More from Friars on Base

The Padres acquired the 28-year-old last summer in the same trade that netted Austin Nola. Following the trade, Altavilla pitched well for San Diego, making nine appearances and working to a 2.61 FIP out of the bullpen. That far excelled what he did up to that point in Seattle, where he got roughed up to the tune of a 5.93 ERA over 13 outings.

Under team control through the 2024 season, Altavilla could wind up being a valuable presence on the pitching staff. But given he’s out of options (along with fellow reliever Taylor Williams) his time with the Friars could be short-lived.

Padres: Depth could cost Dan Altavilla

Looking at the big picture, here’s how the bullpen currently stands.

The closer role could go to any one of a handful of candidates, including Emilio Pagán, Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz or Keone Kela. Obviously, whoever doesn’t close will form a formidable bridge to the ninth. Pierce Johnson, who’s currently sidelined with a minor injury, looks to have a spot locked down, as do Javy Guerra, Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm and Tim Hill.

Padres' system still one of the best in baseball. dark. Next

That doesn’t even factor in the mix of young arms vying for a spot this spring. Thankfully for Altavilla, though, MacKenzie Gore looks like he could use some further seasoning in the minors – and the same goes for Ryan Weathers. Still, it’s hard to put together a situation (outside of an injury) where the right-hander gets the nod on the Opening Day roster – especially with an intense bench battle taking shape, as well.

facebooktwitterreddit