The San Diego Padres have as stacked a lineup as there is in the National League, but their performance in the rotation can leave a bit to be desired. While Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove are one heck of a tandem, the back end of that group is a complete mishmash right now.
Nick Martinez will be elevated from spot starter to a full-time role, while career relief pitcher Seth Lugo was signed to become the fifth rotation member. The former makes sense, but the latter idea could blow up in San Diego's face.
GM AJ Preller appears to be banking on a longer path that will gradually build Lugo up into a starter. His plan is so outrageous that the Padres might make one of the more puzzling roster construction moves we have seen all offseason long.
Per Dennis Lin of The Athletic, the Padres are considering using a six-man rotation to begin the season, with the final man in the rotation still to be determined. Suddenly, this team went from a squad with not enough starters to one trying to shoehorn six different names in the rotation.
Will the San Diego Padres use a six-man rotation?
The most likely candidate for the No. 6 starter role is Adrian Morejon, a former top prospect who was brought up as a starter through the minor leagues. However, his 5.05 ERA in the major leagues doesn't exactly give this team a ton of confidence in his abilities.
Julio Teheran was signed to a minor league contract, but it has been quite some time since he was a viable starting pitcher in the pros. Brent Honeywell has pitched in just three games due to his depressing list of injuries, while much-hyped minor league southpaw Jay Groome has yet to make the majors.
If this is going to be the plan, Teheran makes the most sense due to his past experience in Atlanta. The fact that the Padres signed Lugo to be a starter, yet don't have enough confidence in him right out of the gate to operate with a regular rotation, is surprising.
San Diego is already putting a ton of trust in a very flimsy rotation, and messing with the natural order of things is only going to make them more uncertain. Unless Atlanta Teheran makes the trip to California, the early parts of the season could start out fairly sketchy.