A few surprises on the Padres’ Opening Day roster

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Getty Images

Thursday marked the final day of spring training for the San Diego Padres.

The coaching staff and front office had the last month to fill some of the final roles. Injuries to Dinelson Lamet, Trent Grisham, Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla, Pierce Johnson, and Austin Nola opened up some opportunities. All injuries are minor, and the players should be back within a few weeks of the start of the season.

Initially, Brian O’Grady and Jorge Mateo were poised to compete for the final roster spot. Tucupita Marcano was a long shot to make the roster. The injury to Grisham opened up another roster spot and a chance for Marcano.

Mateo is out of options and had some questions to answer this spring. He has been a highly ranked prospect for a long time. With Fernando Tatis Jr.and Jake Cronenworth in the infield, his main path to playing time would be in the outfield.

This spring, he proved that with his elite speed he can be a quality defensive outfield. The next big step was the offensive explosion that he had this spring. In 25 games, he recorded a .255/.345/.425 slash. This earned him the bench spot and potentially a spot in the Opening Day lineup while Grisham is injured.

That left O’Grady and Marcano to battle for a bench spot. O’Grady was signed to a major league deal in the offseason and was initially lined up as the 4th outfielder until Jurickson Profar was signed. O’Grady has limited big-league experience, and this spring he put up a .250/.389/.455 slash with two home runs.

Like Mateo, Marcano was an infielder throughout his career who has now started to play outfield in order to find playing time. Out of the three players, he showed off his bat the most as he slashed .405/.479/.619 in the spring. This was enough to earn him the starting job and send O’Grady to the alternate site, as Dennis Lin reported.

The next player to play his way onto the starting roster was Nabil Crismatt. Last season, Crismatt had a 3.24 era in just eight innings pitched for the Cardinals. This offseason, the Padres gave him a minor league contract with a spring training invite. A few injuries and some good play earned him a spot on the team. In 10.1 innings pitches, he stuck out 12 batters, gave up a run, and didn’t walk a single batter.

The final player to make the team is Ryan Weathers. Many Padre fans will remember that Weathers made his big league debut against the Dodgers in the playoffs. He struck out the reigning MVP Cody Bellinger.

While Dinelson Lamet rehabs, Adrian Morejon will fill his role in the rotation. This creates a need for a left-handed pitcher that can eat a few innings per outing. The Padres #5 prospect just missed out on the MLB top 100 list. Unlike the other players, his spring performance didn’t earn him this role. His time at the alternate site and growth as a starter has given him this chance.

A lot of these players are up to fill in for injuries and many of their replacements will come back from the IL in a few weeks. With that being said, their only chance of staying is to make an immediate impact on the big-league roster.

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Evan Anderson
Evan is a student finishing up a degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University. The ability to break down numbers and find the story behind them has lead to his first of writing for East Village times. He covers baseball which is the sport he grew up playing and has followed even after his playing years.

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