The San Diego Padres may have the most dominant bullpen in all of Major League Baseball.
In the ever-evolving sport of baseball, you must be creative.
Winning teams think outside the box and do things that are deemed strange at the time. A.J. Preller thinks about the game in a different way than most. The young GM is always after an angle or a winning edge to get an advantage over his opponent.
His latest quest is to stockpile as many relief pitchers as possible.
San Diego signed Drew Pomeranz this winter via free agency and also traded for Emilio Pagan to add to a unit that was already a strength for the youthful squad. The Padres have several young relievers on the roster and even more starting pitchers who are currently major league ready. The problem (which is an excellent issue to have) is the starting rotation is full in most regards, and there are no open spots for young arms.
Here is a list of players who will compete for a bullpen spot this spring. Kirby Yates, Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagan, Andres Munoz, Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm, Jose Castillo, Pierce Johnson, Cal Quantrill, Michel Baez, Trey Wingenter, Luis Perdomo, David Bednar, Gerardo Reyes, Adrian Morejon, Ronald Bolanos, Javier Guerra, Jake Cronenworth, Kyle Barraclough, Jerad Eickhoff, Miguel Diaz, Pedro Avila, Travis Radke, Evan Miller, and Steven Wilson. There are also a few names that will likely be added in the coming weeks, and I might have missed a name or two in the system. This unit is deep and full of unproven young arms. The bullpen will be a strength for the 2020 San Diego Padres.
Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and the rest of the rotation is not a group that will go traditionally deep into games. In 2019, the Padres only had a few starters make it past the seventh inning during their start. More often than not, games were given away in the middle innings.
For San Diego and their young rotation, the nine-inning game is now shortened. If a starting pitcher holds his opponent and gathers a lead in the contest, he will likely earn a win that day. Six innings with a lead will almost assuredly result in a victory for the Padres, and that will improve their overall record.
A.J. Preller and his staff created a competitive edge for the San Diego Padres. With such a competent bullpen and an extraordinary amount of depth, the 2020 season will be a year in which the Padres showcase their dominant bullpen to the baseball community.