Rotation Watch Round 1

Christian Petersen

A look at all the candidates for the rotation after 7 games.

The Locks

Clayton Richard and Jason Marquis: Both have been held back a bit. Richard will make his 2013 debut on Sunday. Jason Marquis will start today.

Edinson Volquez: Had a rocky start to his game on Monday, but settled down and went 2 innings giving up 2 hits and a walk with 3 strikeouts and no runs allowed. He's about to go pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. MLB.com's Barry Bloom wrote about it.

The Favorites (Already on the 40 man roster)

Anthony Bass: Made his spring debut yesterday and it couldn't have gone better. He was efficient and needed only 16 pitches to retire 6 batters, while giving up one hit, in his 2 scoreless innings of work. A few more starts like that and he may become a lock.

Eric Stults: Got rocked right out of the gate. A leadoff home run followed by 2 singles, a walk, another single and a sacrifice fly resulted in 4 runs in the first inning. He didn't come back for the second. He gets a bit of a pass on this one because of last season's success. But too many of these and we can start to worry.

Casey Kelly: Got roughed up last Sunday when he came on in the 4th inning. He gave up 3 doubles in the 5th inning and had to be yanked before getting through his scheduled 2 innings. He went 1 2/3 giving up 7 hits and 3 runs. Kelly can't afford any more outings like this if he wants to avoid starting the season in AAA.

Tyson Ross: The 6'6, 230 lb hard throwing right hander showed off some of his talents by whiffing a couple of batters in his 2 innings. But, a first inning 2 run homer by Jason Bay put a damper on any of his other good work. While not the best outing, it certainly wasn't the worst.

The Hopefuls (Non roster invitees)

Freddy Garcia: Like Kelly, he got lit up last Sunday. He started the game, but only went 1 inning. He gave up 5 earned runs on 5 hits, but on the plus side he didn't walk anybody. The Padres would probably like Garcia's veteran presence in the major league rotation, but he'll have to perform better than this for it to become a consideration.

Robbie Erlin: Had an impressive 2013 debut. Erlin missed his shot at making the big leagues in 2012 when he missed most of the season with injury, but he certainly has started making his case for 2013 inclusion. He gave up just one hit and one walk, struck out one batter, and only used 13 pitches in pitching 2 scoreless frames.

Sean O`Sullivan: Started the first game and due to the schedule also got in another one before all the other candidates got a turn. Backed by a first inning grand slam by white hot prospect Jedd Gyorko in the first inning, he went 2 scoreless innings, striking out one and only allowed a hit batsman to reach base. In his second start he went two innings again. He had a very efficient first, then struggled a bit in the second and did okay in the third. He only allowed one run on two hits and two walks while facing most of the Rockies' top hitters. O'Sullivan has a poor major league track record that will be tough to overcome, but he's doing his best.

Wilfredo Boscan: Relieved Ross on Saturday in the second spring game. Went two innings where he struck out and only allowed a walk. A nice effort from a player who at one point was at least a marginal prospect in the Rangers' system.

My Rankings:

1. Clayton Richard

2. Edinson Volquez

3. Jason Marquis

4. Anthony Bass

5. Eric Stults

6. Tyson Ross

7. Casey Kelly

8. Robbie Erlin

9. Freddy Garcia

10. Sean O`Sullivan

11. Wilfredo Boscan

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