3 under-the-radar starters who could join Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove in Padres rotation

The Padres rotation is very unsettled at the moment.

New York Yankees pitcher Jhony Brito
New York Yankees pitcher Jhony Brito / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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2. Jhony Brito

Jhony Brito was part of the return San Diego received in exchange for Juan Soto earlier this winter. In addition to Brito, the Friars also landed pitchers Randy Vásquez, Drew Thorpe and Michael King. While Thorpe is still a young prospect and Vasquez and King are seen as likely starters for the Padres, Brito is a bit of a swingman.

San Diego carved out the same type of role for former pitcher Nick Martinez last season. The right-hander has since signed with the Cincinnati Reds and will operate as both a starter and reliever for David Bell's ball club. That could be how Brito is used in San Diego this year, especially during the early part of the season.

Last season with the Yankees, Brito appeared in 25 games and made 13 starts. It was his first taste of the big leagues, and it showed. While his 4.28 ERA is not horrible for a young pitcher, Brito's splits reveal that he was much better in relief than he was as a starter.

Coming out of the bullpen, Brito posted a tremendous 1.43 ERA and allowed opposing batters to hit just .192 through 37.2 innings of work. As a starting pitcher, Brito allowed the opposition to post a slash line of .277/.345/.544 and saw his ERA hover above 6.00.

But everyone knows the lights of New York City shine brightly, and perhaps the mellow atmosphere of Southern California will allow Brito to take a different approach. While it's assumed that the right-hander is a better fit for the San Diego bullpen, Brito is certainly an under-the-radar candidate to make a run at the starting rotation.