Those are not my words. Those are the quoted words from Padres GM Josh Byrnes in Barry Bloom's article on MLB.com about Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland's progress coming back from Tommy John surgeries.
"Luebke's been good," Byrnes said. "He's thrown off a mound a couple of times, and he's probably going to come out to San Diego in a week or two and throw to some hitters. Wieland threw in the Arizona Fall League the other night. They both appear to finally be where they need to be in their rehab.
"Now, including the six guys who finished the season in the rotation, we have two more to compete for starting spots. That area has been getting better and deeper for us."
"We're pretty deep," Byrnes said. "Our pitching is starting to get there. We need some left-handed help in our bullpen. Maybe we could use a left-handed bat that can play a few positions. That covers us. We're kind of in a mode of where, how can we get better? We're just narrowing our focus to guys who can bring us up a level. We're looking at more depth than impact in certain areas. We have a chance to get better by just being healthier, but we're looking for a piece or two or three."
Bynes is calling the 8-some of Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Eric Stults, Robbie Erlin, Burch Smith, Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland a deep pool of rotation options. Sure, if they are all healthy (in the case of Luebke and Wieland), ready to repeat recent success (Cashner and Ross), about to bounce back from recent struggles (Kennedy) and able to complete the jump from prospect to reliable starter (Erlin and Smith) then it is certainly a deep pool.
Now I am not trying to attack Byrnes for his thinking. I just wanted to highlight the way the man at the helm is currently looking at this team. He also been quoted as saying that the team would be willing to add starting pitching if there were a front line option available via trade. So while plan 1A may be to go with the options he has, plan 1B (should it present itself) would be to make a major upgrade. Perhaps that is prudent. No point throwing around money at guys whose upside is probably similar to that of the guys currently rostered, but still actively seeking a way to get an impact guy that won't cripple the farm system to acquire.
It is just not going to be a flashy way to attack the 2014 season.