USA TODAY Sports
Nineteen games are in the books and the rotation watch is still on. Things are starting to clear up some as we get closer to the start of the season.
Clayton Richard - Richard is just getting his work in. He struggled in the second inning last Friday when the game got washed out and got hit hard a couple of times yesterday. He's still on track to be the Opening Day starter.
Edinson Volquez -Volquez took the mound twice for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. His first start was a perfect 1 inning with a strikeout. His second start began as anything but perfect. 3 walks, a sac fly and a HR made things ugly early, but he settled down pitched really well for the next 3 innings. Padres fans are accustomed to these fits and starts for Eddy. He's still likely to start the second game of the season.
Jason Marquis - Went 4 brilliant innings against the Cubs last Sunday. 2 strikeouts, only 2 hits and no runs. His ERA for the Spring is 1.00. He seems poised to start the season strong as the #3 starter.
Anthony Bass - Bass encountered his first hiccup of the Spring giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk in 2 innings of work. On the bright side he did strikeout 3 batters, which is a sign that he's still tough to hit at times. Rumors persist that he's not likely to start in the rotation, but he's still a guy that I'd prefer to see there.
Eric Stults - Another start for Stults, another tough day. 3 runs, 2 earned on 5 hits with no walks and no strikeouts over 3 innings last Saturday. If there's any chance that these bad outings will sway the Padres from making him the 4th starter, then they are doing a good job at hiding it.
Casey Kelly - Went 3 wobbly innings last Thursday, but then missed his turn in the rotation on Tuesday. Word is that he's had tests on his elbow and many fear he'll need Tommy John surgery. In any case, he's likely out of the running for a rotation spot.
Tyson Ross - His best outing of the Spring came against his former team, the Oakland Athletics, on Monday. He went 3 innings while keeping the A's off the scoreboard. He struck out 3 and only allowed 2 hits and a walk. His control can be iffy at times, but he seems like he has as much upside as any of the rotation candidate if not more. Maybe he can win the 5th starter job after all.
Freddy Garcia - Garcia pitched twice in the last week. One was another bad outing and one was his best of the Spring. His best was 4 innings against the Giants, allowing 1 run and striking out 6. The word was that he used a lot of offspeed stuff and went away from any dependence on his fastball. Consider this game his lifeline back to rotation candidacy. Or perhaps a spot in the bullpen if a 40 man roster spot opens up.
Robbie Erlin - Erlin didn't get in any major league games this week. Perhaps he pitched on the backfields or had his opportunity rained out last Friday. His chance at being in the rotation to start the season are pretty close to zero now.
Sean O`Sullivan - Reduced to just one inning on Monday, he seems to have lost any chance he had. He did leave some good impressions, so he might get a shot if more injuries crop up as the season goes on. If nothing else he has likely secured a starting rotation spot in Tucson.
Tim Stauffer - Stauffer finally got a chance to go multiple innings, but didn't make the most of it. In 2 innings he allowed 4 runs to cross the plate on 4 hits. His recovery is still a work in progress.
Andrew Cashner - The bearded fireballer finally made his Spring debut on Monday and went 1 perfect inning with 1 strikeout to his name. We'll have to see if he can build up a bigger workload as we get closer to Opening Day.
1. Clayton Richard
2. Edinson Volquez
3. Jason Marquis
4. Tyson Ross
5. Anthony Bass
6. Eric Stults
7. Freddy Garcia
8. Tim Stauffer
9. Andrew Cashner
10. Casey Kelly