Opening Day, 2011 - Dilip Vishwanat
When Spring Training rolled around last March, Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley were expected to be two of the workhorses in the rotation. Both were coming off solid 2011 seasons and looked poised to build on that momentum in 2012. Now, they are free agents.
No current player had been in the Padres organization longer than Tim Stauffer. Stauffer took over that title when Ernesto Frieri was traded to the Angels. The Stauff, as he would sometimes be referred to here, was a 1st round draft pick for the team in 2003 and was expected to get a big signing bonus until he disclosed to the Padres that he had an existing injury. The team got him on a discount, he recovered and rose through the minors. He made his Padres debut in 2005 when the team need a starter as they competed for the division title. He made a couple cameos in 2006 and 2007, but it was 2009 when he came up to stay with the big league club. In 2010 he shined as a reliever for the contending Friars, and in 2011 he started opening day and had his best year as a starting pitcher. He was on track to be the opening day starter in 2012 before an injury sidelined him.
He was never able to fully recover and there were some doubts about whether he could re-enter the rotation in 2013. Combine that with a roster crunch right now as players on the 60 day DL need to be added back to 40 man roster and an impending raise that would combine from being arbitration eligible and you start to see how the release came about. There is speculation that the team will try to re-sign Stauffer to a friendlier deal.
Dustin Moseley wasn't with the Padres nearly as long, but he found a foothold as a major league starting pitcher with the club in 2011. Unfortunately, a dislocated non-throwing shoulder ended his 2011 season prematurely. In 2012, he injured his throwing shoulder and couldn't repeat his success from 2011. He was also arbitration eligible and would have garnered some sort of raise if the Padres retained him. It is unlikely that the team will re-sign him in 2013.