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Padres Rotation Watch Round 4

Opening Day is less than a week away and one rotation spot is still up for grabs.


The Locks

Edinson Volquez - One of the Dominican heroes of the World Baseball Classic was named the opening day starter by manager Bud Black. He hasn't started in a Cactus League game for a while, but he made a start in a minor league game last Friday.

Clayton Richard - Richard may started more games for the Padres than any other player on the roster, but that history wasn't good enough to earn him an Opening Day start. However, he will get to start the home opener.

Jason Marquis - Marquis will start the 3rd game of the season and final game of the opening series against the New York Mets. He was close to brilliant in his last outing on Monday when he faced many of the Texas Rangers' starters.

Eric Stults - Stults will pitch the first divisional game of the year as he'll be the 4th man to toe the slab in the regular season. That game will be in Colorado. At least the April cold may help keep the ball in the park. He had some troubles in his last outing on Sunday. Facing mostly Brewers reserves he gave up 4 runs the 2nd time through the order.

The Favorites

Andrew Cashner - Cashner pitched well in his start today. He got 4 Ks, gave up 1 run on his own and a runner he left on after he reach his pitch count scored. Reports on velocity were good and he just needs to be stretched out a little more to be as ready for the start of the season as the rest of the rotation. He'll likely get one more start (it might be a simulated or minor league game) to do that.

Tyson Ross - Ross went 4.2 IP with 6 strikes and only 1 R last Friday. He has impressed this Spring, but will likely lose out to Cashner if the organization believes Cashner can handle regular rotation duty without a minor league stint to stretch out. Ross will get a least one more look before the season starts. If he doesn't make the rotation he'll got to AAA Tucson.

The Also Rans

Anthony Bass - Bass was never really given a fair chance at the rotation. The team obviously wants him working more than one inning at a time in games, but they never got him stretched out enough so that he's ready for 5-7 innings every 5th day. He's a lock for the bullpen where he'll soak up some valuable innings.

Freddy Garcia - Released last Sunday after a disaster start last Saturday.

Casey Kelly - Will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early April.

Tim Stauffer - Stauff still has a chance to make the roster as a reliever. It would probably come at the expense of Tommy Layne if he does. Layne was pretty sharp last year and Buddy liked to use him in tight situations. In otherwords, it's gonna be a tough choice. Stauffer signed a minor league contract, so he can go get some work in Tucson, but he can request a release if he's not called up by early May. Editor's Note: Announced on 3/27 that Stauffer will start for AAA Tucson to begin the year.

Sean O`Sullivan - O'Sullivan got some valuable exposure early in Spring and made the most of it. Still, he was never going to get a long look unless there were injuries. Other than Casey Kelly, there were none so he'll go to Tucson and eat up some innings in the desert.

Robbie Erlin - We got a couple sneak peaks at Erlin who still could use some work in the minors. He's also not on the 40 man roster so he's not likely to be a guy called up early in the season unless a cascade of things go wrong. He is in the team's future plans and likely will be playing for the Padres in September at the latest.

Donn Roach - Roach got a couple chances to show his stuff and I think he convinced many that his stuff will play in the majors. Nobody can quite agree when he'll become a regular with the Friars, but most can agree that it will eventually happen. Probably mid 2014 if there's an opening.

My Rankings:

1. Edinson Volquez

2. Clayton Richard

3. Eric Stults

4. Jason Marquis

5. Andrew Cashner

6. Tyson Ross

7. Anthony Bass

8. Tim Stauffer

9. Donn Roach

10. Robbie Erlin

11. Sean O'Sullivan