Opening Day is a couple of days away, and there are many decisions for A.J. Preller and Andy Green to make to finish the roster. Questions exist around the diamond. Who will make the squad? Here are my uneducated guesses for each position group:
Catcher: Derek Norris, Christian Bethancourt. Hedges looked great this spring, making big strides at the plate, but his option year earns him daily starts in El Paso rather than backing up Norris.
1B: Wil Myers, Brett Wallace. Andy Green said that Wallace stands to make more starts than last year, and Myers figures to get LF starts on some of those days.
2B/SS/3B: Cory Spangenberg is our starting second baseman.. It's been his job all spring. Alexei Ramirez was brought in to be the everyday SS, and hopefully he can have his seventh straight 150+ game season. Yangervis Solarte took a big step forward last year, especially after getting the job full-time. Now he's being tasked with all of the requirements of the position.
INF/UT: This is a tough one. Jemile Weeks had a great spring and can play anywhere on the diamond. Adam Rosales ended the spring strong and has nearly as much flexibility. Jose Pirela was brought in this offseason and can play INF/OF. Rosales is on a minor league contract, and Pirela has an option season left. I think Jemile Weeks gets the job, and is the only utility player due to an eight-man bullpen.
OF: Matt Kemp, Jon Jay, and Melvin Upton start most days, with Jabari Blash getting spot starts along with Wil Myers. Travis Jankowski starts daily in AAA, and gets the first call up when a need arises.
SP: Tyson Ross, James Shields, and Andrew Cashner are obvious. Robbie Erlin, Drew Pomeranz, and Colin Rea seem are the main competition for the last two spots. I see Rea and Erlin starting the season in the back of the rotation.
"He’s had a great spring, and he’s right in the mix still," Green said after the game. "I think we’re going to sit down tomorrow, and I think that’s the day we hash it all out and finally make a decision between him and Colin (Rea) and Drew Pomeranz, and try to determine what’s best for us going forward (in the rotation). You kind of wish somebody would’ve really separated themselves, but they've all had that outing where it wasn’t ideal." - manager Andy Green
RP: Fernando Rodney, Carlos Villanueva, Brandon Maurer, and Matt Thornton have been named already. Kevin Quackenbush still has an option, but he seems like an obvious pick to make the team. The remaining three spots go to Drew Pomeranz, Ryan Buchter, and Luis Perdomo. Pomeranz is making the team whether he's a starter or reliever. Buchter is on the 40-man roster already and had a very good spring. Perdomo is my coin-flip Rule 5 pick. Both he and Josh Martin got roughed up at times, but they both have compelling reasons for the Padres to try to hang on to one of them.
DL: Brandon Morrow (shoulder), Buddy Baumann (back), Jon Edwards (forearm).
That's my best guess as of now. Opinions might change today or tomorrow, depending on FanFest exhibition performances, health, or the forces of the tides.