A Brief Look at The 29 Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees

Credit to MLB Trade Rumors

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The San Diego Padres recently announced 29 new invitees to spring training in Peoria. All will be set to show off their skills and prove themselves for, at the very least, a spot in Triple-A El Paso.

There is a healthy mix of both veterans and top prospects ready to prove that they have what it takes or, in the veteran’s case, can still play with the kids. Without further ado, here is a quick look at the 21 non-roster invitees.

Right-handed pitchers

David Bednar

San Diego seems to think highly of this 24-year-old right-hander. A former 35th-round pick in 2016, Bednar impressed the Padres with his performance in the 2017 Arizona Fall League and continued to dominate with the Lake Elsinore Storm, pitching 69.1 innings and collecting a 2.46 ERA while saving 10 games. His 12.63 K/9 in Lake Elsinore could translate into an intriguing middle-relief option for the Padres. Likely Destination: Double-A

Tyler Higgins

An under-the-radar signing, Higgins spent 2018 with the Seattle Mariners’ Triple-A facility. The reliever pitched admirably in 35 innings, collecting a 2.83 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP with Tacoma while also spending time in the Independent League with New Britain. With the Padres’ bullpen already set, Higgins is either a depth piece or one of the unfortunate players who will be cut. Likely Destination: Triple-A

Kazuhiza Makita

Makita was heralded as the next staple of the Padres’ bullpen with his changing speeds and funky delivery. That is, until other teams caught on to his stuff and a 5.40 ERA in 35 innings got him designated for assignment in November. After clearing waivers, Makita will have a second chance to prove himself, but there just may not be enough space for him on the bullpen. Likely Destination: Triple-A

Cal Quantrill

The number 11 prospect on MLB Pipeline, Quantrill had a rough start with Double-A San Antonio before rebounding with El Paso. The former first-round pick has been mentioned along with Logan Allen as a candidate to break camp with the Major League squad, but of the two, he may lose out at the last minute. Likely Destination: Triple-A, midseason call-up

Courtesy of Armando Vela
(Jesse Scholtens) Credit: El Paso Chihuahuas

Jesse Scholtens

After racking up a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 18 starts with San Antonio, the 24-year-old Scholtens jumped up to Triple-A and struggled in an albeit small sample size, only pitching in six games for an 8.38 ERA, after which he was sent back down to Double-A. A ninth-round pick in 2016, Scholtens will get his time in the Arizona sun before going back to the minors, but he could be a candidate for a September call-up. Likely Destination: Triple-A, September Call-Up

Carlos Torres

Torres comes to San Diego with nine years of big league service, including some solid seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. His numbers took a dip in 2018 in only 9 2/3 innings with the Washington Nationals, but he is in the same boat as Makita in terms of limited space. At worst, he is a veteran depth piece that will be waiting in the wings in case of an injury. Likely Destination: Triple-A

T.J. Weir

Weir was actually a non-roster invitee in 2017 and was sent to Triple-A after camp. However, he was soon demoted to Double-A after a slow start, but he rebounded nicely with the Missions and earned himself a promotion back to Triple-A. The 27-year-old could push for a roster spot in spring training, but he will have to have a very impressive spring to earn that spot. Likely Destination: Triple-A

Eric Yardley

Another submarine pitcher, Yardley shuttled between Triple-A and Double-A in 2018, but he has potential as he was named to the Double-A All-Star Game in 2017. Like Weir, he could push for a roster spot with an impressive spring. Likely Destination: Double-A or Triple-A

Left-Handed Pitchers

Logan Allen

After working his way up the ranks, the Padres’ number eight prospect is finally ready to strut his stuff in the Majors. A 2.75 ERA in 121 innings at Double-A earned him a promotion to Triple-A, where he sported a 1.63 ERA in 27 2/3 innings. Joey Lucchesi broke camp with the Major League squad, so maybe it’s Allen’s turn to make the jump and start the wave of prospects. Likely Destination: Majors

(Logan Allen) Credit: Missions

Ryan Bollinger

This left-hander has certainly earned some travel miles. After spending time in the minors with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, and the New York Yankees, as well as the Australian League, Bollinger finally got his chance at the majors with the Yankees when he was called up on July 31st… and didn’t get to pitch and was ultimately sent down the next day. Armed with a mid-80’s fastball with good control, he’ll get a shot with the Padres to make an appearance in the bigs. Likely Destination: Triple-A

Dietrich Enns

Enns has had the tiniest of tastes in the Majors, a two-game cameo with the Minnesota Twins in 2017. After that, it was back to the minors where he struggled to a 4.60 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and a .273 batting average against in 129 innings. He’ll get his cup of coffee in Peoria, but this is nothing more than a depth signing for San Diego. Likely Destination: Double-A

Jerry Keel

Drafted all the way back in 2015 as a ninth-round pick, Keel has had his fair share of struggles as he was 10-4 last year between El Paso and San Antonio, recording a 4.20 ERA and a 1.365 WHIP. He was close to the majors last year, but he will most likely be converted to a bullpen role instead of the coveted starter role. Likely Destination: Triple-A, September Call-Up

(Nick Margevicius) Credit: Missions

Nick Margevicius

The tall left-hander was a Midwest All-Star thanks to a stellar performance in Low-A Fort Wayne, which earned him a promotion to Lake Elsinore and, at the end of the season, San Antonio. Margevicius went 10-8 with a 3.60 ERA across two minor league levels this year, but it is highly unlikely that he will break camp with San Diego. He will absorb knowledge from the Major League coaches and take it with him to the minors.  Likely Destination: Double-A

Kyle McGrath

The left-hander has actually spent some time with the Padres, pitching 19 innings in 2017 and four in 2018 before being designated for assignment in May. After clearing waivers, it was back to Triple-A where he pitched 52 1/3 innings of 2.75 ERA ball. He’ll get the opportunity to earn a spot, but like so many others, he will have to really impress to get it. Likely Destination: Triple-A

Eric Stout

Stout made his debut with the Kansas City Royals, but got shelled in just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits. He had decent numbers in Triple-A, pitching to a 4.75 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 55 innings, but was released by the Royals in September. He’s got a minor league deal with San Diego, but it is unlikely that he stays with the team. Likely: Triple-A or released


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Jason Freund
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show "Picked Off", for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.
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