Padres News: Roster Moves- Thornton In, Humber Out, Morrow Signed, Edwards Hurt

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The dominoes are starting to fall as the San Diego Padres had until today at noon to either release Matt Thornton or sign him for the year. The team elected to keep the left-handed reliever even though he had been roughed up a bit recently during the Spring. Not a big deal, but the Padres surely hope that the veteran can turn things around next week as the major league season opens at home versus the Dodgers.

The 39-year-old Thornton has been around the league for 12 years and carries a 3.35 ERA during that time. He was 2-1 last year for the Nationals with a 2.18 ERA in 41 innings pitched. Thornton is very tough on left-handed hitters and will likely be used in that capacity by the Padres new skipper Andy Green. It is really nice to have a left-handed option like Thronton late in games.

Philip Humber was assigned to the minor league camp, but elected to retire from the game of baseball instead. The 33-year old had a decent Spring and could have provided depth to the minor league system with a real shot at contributing at one point during the season. The disappointment of not making the Padres was too much for Humber, and he retired instead to be with his family.

The third overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft by the New York Yankees, was 16-23 overall with a 5.31 ERA in seven major league seasons. He pitched for five different organizations in his career, lastly throwing in the major leagues in 2013 with the Houston Astros. He was knocked around hard that year to the tune of a 7.90 ERA in 54 innings pitched. Humber pitched last season in the Korean Baseball Organization and was 3-3 with a 6.75 ERA. 

Brandon Morrow, though not fully recovered from shoulder surgery was retained by the Padres. A retention bonus was paid to Morrow and he will be eased back into pitching. Morrow will make some starts in the minor leagues and should be able to contribute at one point this season. At least that is what the Padres hope.

With the trade for Dan Straily and the signing of Thornton we are getting a better idea of who will be in the Padres bullpen to start the year. Straily, Thornton, Fernando Rodney, Carlos Villanueva and Brandon Maurer are all locks. That leaves Drew Pomeranz (if he isn’t in the rotation), Kevin Quackenbush, Nick Vincent, Robbie Erlin and the two Rule-5 picks (Luis Perdomo and Josh Martin) left for the remaining spots. Jon Edwards has an elbow issue that will limit him to start the season so he is out of the running for now.

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