Padres News: Padres Send Brandon Maurer Back to the Bullpen

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Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

On Tuesday morning, some pretty significant news broke out of San Diego Padres camp.

The Brandon Maurer starting rotation experiment has officially been put to a merciless end by skipper Andy Green.

It’s been pretty clear from the start of Spring Training that Brandon Maurer was overmatched in a starting role, perhaps most evident in his most recent start. Although it later came out that Maurer was pitching while sick with the flu, he was shelled by the Giants for 10 runs in just 1 1/3 innings his most recent start last week. It was yet another in a string of bad outings for Maurer so far this Spring. In total, Maurer has given up 12 hits and 16 runs in only 5 2/3 innings of work.

From the very first day that it was mentioned that Maurer was going to get a chance at the starting rotation, it seemed like a bad idea. Not only did Maurer excel in a bullpen role in 2015, but he also broke down the stretch due to fatigue. If Maurer was unable to complete the season in the bullpen, it seemed unlikely that his arm would be ready for the jump to a full-time starter.

Beyond that, with reference to the above tweet, it’s pretty clear that Maurer is in fact better suited to enter the game and “let it rip and let it go.” As a reliever, Maurer is able to do that. As a starter, more is demanded of him. Maurer struggled in developing an effective changeup as a starter and, without at least a decent third pitch, pitching as a starter wasn’t going to work for Maurer.

With Maurer now returning to the pen, the bullpen becomes a little more solidified, with him likely sliding into the 8th inning in front of likely closer Fernando Rodney. In the starting rotation, this leaves Colin Rea, Robbie Erlin, and Drew Pomeranz fighting for rotation spots. Brandon Morrow is also in the mix, but it remains unclear if he will be ready for opening day after just making his first appearance on Sunday. What is clear is that the Padres certainly made the right move in moving Brandon Maurer back to a role he can excel at.

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