Spring cancellation gives Padres little chance for further evaluation of roster

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Credit: EVT Sports

The COVID-19 virus created a global pandemic in which the San Diego Padres lost any chance to further evaluate their roster in preparation for the 2020 season. 

The 2020 season looked to be a coming-out year for the San Diego Padres.

A.J. Preller and his staff constructed a versatile roster full of focused individuals. However, the Coronavirus scare has ceased all professional sports in the United States. Major League Baseball delayed the start of the season, and all spring training games are canceled. This is an unprecedented event in the history of sports in the modern world.

The main concern for all is health and safety. Despite the fact there will be no live games, there is still plenty of business that needs to be handled within the Padres’ baseball world. It is unclear when games will begin. Teams should be allowed a grace period to set their rosters, and a Spring Training of sorts should be developed in time. For all 30 teams to set their 40-man rosters in a matter of days would create chaos. This is a very fluid situation, and anything can happen in the future.

There are plenty of issues that need to be resolved in each major league camp when it comes to settling their rosters for the coming season. Evaluations were still taking place. The Padres are not the only team with this issue, but they do have a lot of work to do as far as evaluation is concerned.

With roughly two weeks left in the spring season, the Padres were at a vital point in determining the future of their team. Nothing was evident in many crucial areas, and the team will have little opportunity to gather more data in the coming weeks as the country is shut down. Like the rest of the world, baseball life is on hold.

There is talk that all transactions are on hold in MLB until this is resolved.

A.J. Preller may not be able to add or subtract to his roster, but there is sure to be a lot of self-evaluation happening in the baseball operations department. A few unanswered questions are heading into the hopeful start of the 2020 season in May.

Who’s on second?

Jurickson Profar and Brian Dozier both want to start every day at the position. Greg Garcia and Ty France also will factor in some degree. Then there are the minor leaguers, where Ivan Castillo, Esteban Quiroz, and Owen Miller are all deserving of attention. Each is also very close to being major league ready. The Padres are blessed with depth at the keystone, and nothing seemed resolved with two weeks to play.

Fifth-spot in rotation settled?

Joey Lucchesi is battling for the fifth spot in the rotation as Cal Quantrill looked very impressive this spring. There is no clear-cut answer for who will start the season in the rotation. The Padres could go either way. Lucchesi would provide the Padres with a left-hander in the rotation, but Quantrill has easily outpitched him this spring in Peoria. San Diego will need a few more starts from each to determine who will start the season with the Padres in the rotation.

Tough bullpen decisions

Kirby Yates, Emilio Pagan, Drew Pomeranz are all locks to start the season in the pen. Other men should easily make the team like Andres Munoz, Craig Stammen, and Jose Castillo. But beyond this group, there is a fierce battle for a few remaining spots. The Padres were in the midst of evaluating this group as spring shut down. There are indications the team was exploring trades with other organizations who need relief help. As the season’s start begins to become a realization, expect the Padres to be active in moving a few of their relief pitchers via trade.

Outfield dilemma  

The only outfielder with a guaranteed position is Tommy Pham. Trent Grisham and Wil Myers appear to have the other spots on lockdown, but Franchy Cordero and Josh Naylor both looked excellent this spring. The Padres also have Taylor Trammell, Edward Olivares, and Jorge Ona all on the cusp of major league service time. The Padres have a problem in the outfield, but it is an excellent issue to have. An extra two weeks of spring would have been vital for the Padres in determining who will start the season on the 26-man roster.

The future is not known. But, there will be baseball eventually.

Major League Baseball will likely allow some sort of Spring Training to take place before the start of the season. There will still be time for the Padres to make the tough choices needed for a successful 2020. Only time will tell what the future holds.

1 thought on “Spring cancellation gives Padres little chance for further evaluation of roster

  1. I think MLB will add a new, but shorter, exhibition season before starting the season. I don’t think they’ll risk injuries from players not in peak condition. I think with all of the unknowns that if we have players with options, we need to start them in AAA or lower and make more decisions as everyone gets more ABs and pitched innings. MLB experience is necessary but rushing or jettisoning a player too early isn’t in our best interests.

    Once things get started again, there are still some deals that can be made to put us in a better position to contend next year and beyond. We have excess pitching as well as infielders and outfielders. While depth is important, better to move quality for quality minor leaguers than lose your depth to inaction.

    We have so many players nearly MLB ready that we need to seriously work on reducing our 40 man roster with some 2 for 1 and 3 for one trades. Lucchesi and Naylor should be moved with a package of lower minor leaguers for a high level/ranked pitcher or center fielder in someone’s farm system. Our catching can be thinned by moving Mejia while he still has value as a catcher. Another package with him and a reliever and a minor leaguer(s) should also help with our 40 man roster and bring back a highly ranked minor league pitcher.

    So many questions will be able to be answered with some moves and experience. Hopefully, we will be more competitive this season while being able to focus with more information on our team for 2021. Then, it’s just plugging in a player or two if needed.

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