With two weeks remaining before MLB Opening Day, constructing the San Diego Padres’ 25-man roster results in many questions, as position battles are still in the middle rounds.
On Friday and early Tuesday, the Padres’ assigned several players to their minor league camp. Cal Quantrill, Rowan Wick, Tom Wilhelmsen, Trey Wingenter, and Michael Mariot were given the bad news, along with promising position player and No. 8 overall (in all of MLB) prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., second baseman Luis Urias, first baseman Josh Naylor, catcher Austin Allen, shortstop Javier Guerra, and outfielder Franmil Reyes.
In Peoria, the battle continues. There are many spots up for grabs with a few weeks remaining until March 29 against the Brewers.
Here are my predictions for the 2018 San Diego Padres’ opening day 25-man roster:
Starting Pitchers (5)
Clayton Richards is all but guaranteed the Opening Day nod. A little over midway through, Bryan Mitchell has had an impressive spring. Dinelson Lamet has had a average spring with a few ups and downs, but should make this team. Luis Perdomo is young and struggling. He could start in the minors. I see former Padres’ 2015 All-Star Tyson Ross filling his void. With the fifth spot in the rotation, I have to go with Chris Young. I like Joey Lucchesi as a possible number six, if the Padres elect to go with a six-man rotation. Eric Laurer starts in the minors, but he is close.
Relief Pitchers (7)
Latest Rumor: “Southpaw reliever Brad Hand looked like an obvious trade candidate all winter, and he still does. They inked Hand to a three-year, $19.75 million extension in January. In some ways, that made the 27-year-old All-Star more attractive.”” Astros” being the possible location – Jacob Shafer says.
Carter Capps is a big question for the Friars. The team could use some help in the relief area if Brad Hand is traded. Phil Maton or Buddy Baumann could be called on for a much larger role if this happens. Wingenter is a possible call-up, as is Brad Wieck.
At catcher, it will be Austin Hedges. He has had an exceptional spring and owns the starter role for now and the future. A.J. Ellis adds veteran presence to the clubhouse as well as a great option off the bench. Ellis spent eight years with the Dodgers. In 2012, he was legitimate MLB All-Star catcher and has knowledge of both the division and the players within it.
The $144-million first baseman, and new franchise face, Eric Hosmer, leads arguably the best infield in 20 years for the Padres. Wil Myers will play right field and is probably the backup first baseman. Chase Headley is currently in what looks to be a dog fight with Christian Villanueva at third base. Headley is holding his ground due to poor trade worth and a guaranteed $13 million 2018 salary. To ensure Villanueva more playing time, he could be used in a backup role to shortstop and veteran Freddy Galvis. Carlos Asuaje has had a solid spring to this point and will be the Opening Day second baseman if it continues. Cory Spangenberg makes the team as a backup to Asuaje.
The outfield is presently loaded… It is actually overloaded. Pirela will double as another possible second baseman to get his big bat in the lineup during the week. Franchy Cordero had a beautiful winter, and is off to amazing spring that should all but guarantee his starting role in left field, with Jose Pirela and Hunter Renfroe getting at bats when they can. If Hunter is to be traded or sent down, Matt Szczur takes the number five outfield spot. Manuel Margot is a fixture in center and Wil Myers will be in right field unless he is needed at first base.
There is my 25-man roster. What do you think?