Austin Hedges (R/R)
Spring: 48 PA, .214/.313/.548, 4 HR
A.J. Ellis (R/R)
Spring: 31 PA, .217/.419/.435
Raffy Lopez (L/R)
Spring: 29 PA, .320/.414/.880, 4 HR
2017 AAA: 223 PA, 153 wRC+, 12 HR
Andy Green really likes Raffy Lopez’ left handed bat. The former Blue Jay can give Austin Hedges the occasional day off against tough right handers. A.J. Ellis fits in as an inexpensive, well-respected veteran whose intangibles make up for a physical skillset that has dropped off with age.
Eric Hosmer (L/L, 1B)
Carlos Asuaje (L/R, 2B)
Spring: 62 PA, .339/.387/.625, 3 3B
Freddy Galvis (S/R, SS)
Spring: 57 PA, .269/.316/.481
Chase Headley (S/R, 3B/1B)
Spring: 50 PA, .243/.440/.432
Christian Villanueva (R/R, 3B/UT)
2017 AAA: 454 PA, 129 wRC+, 20 HR
Cory Spangenberg (L/R, 2B/3B/LF)
Spring: 55 PA, .294/.345/.549, 11 Runs
Eric Hosmer and Freddy Galvis will play every day at first base and shortstop, respectively. Jose Pirela is expected to get some action at second base against lefties, but the majority of the reps will go to Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje. Chase Headley will get the lions’ share of the action at the hot corner. Both Spangenberg and Christian Villanueva can fill in at third base, with additional versatility in the outfield, and at shortstop, respectively.
This is a group that, outside of Hosmer and Galvis, could change significantly by the end of the season. Roster needs will likely limit the Padres to five infielders in the near future. Additionally, top second base prospect Luis Urias is expected to force himself into the big league conversation during the summer.
Wil Myers (R/R, RF/LF)
2015: -42.5 UZR/150 in CF
2014: 2.5 UZR/150 in RF
Manny Margot (R/R, CF)
Spring: 64 PA, .250/.344/.411, 10 Runs
Hunter Renfroe (R/R, RF)
Jose Pirela (R/R, LF/2B)
Spring: 61 PA, .385/.459/.596
Matt Szczur (R/R, OF)
Spring: 30 PA, .240/.345/.600, 3 HR
Manny Margot enters his age-23 season with high expectations as the team’s everyday center fielder. Jose Pirela and Hunter Renfroe could form one of the strangest platoons in baseball, and not just because they are both right handed batters. Andy Green has discussed the possibility of playing Pirela in Left Field against righties (113 wRC+ in 2017), while getting Renfroe’s bat in the lineup in Right Field against southpaws (10.4 AB/HR, 177 wRC+ in 2017). Wil Myers is going to play 150-plus games...whether that’s going to be in Right, Left, or a combination of both is yet to be determined. Matt Szczur is likely on a short leash as he has neither Travis Jankowski’s nor Franchy Cordero’s speed, defense or left handed bat.
Starting Pitchers (4)
LHP Clayton Richard
RHP Luis Perdomo
RHP Bryan Mitchell
LHP Robbie Erlin
2017: DNP, Tommy John Surgery
Career (2013-2016): 148.2 IP, 25 GS, 3.78 FIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 1.8 WAR
Obviously, the Padres cannot field a four man rotation forever, Tyson Ross will join the time as soon as he is needed. The Padres have plenty of question marks in their 2018 rotation. They will have two players who’ve undergone thoracic outlet syndrome surgery (Richard, February 2014; Ross, October 2016), and two players with previous Tommy John surgeries (Ross, January 2005; Erlin, May 2016).
Perdomo (49 GS) and Richard (41 GS) are the only two pitchers who have logged significant time as major league starters over the last two seasons. Ross (11 GS), Mitchell (6 GS), and Erlin (2 GS) have all spent significant time on the DL, in the minors, or in the bullpen during that same timeframe.
Relief Pitchers (7)
LHP Brad Hand
RHP Kirby Yates
RHP Kaz Makita
2017 Japan Pacific League: 62.2 IP, 1.02 WHIP, 5.0 K/9, 0.7 BB/9
RHP Craig Stammen
RHP Adam Cimber
RHP Jordan Lyles
LHP Kyle McGrath
Outside of Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Brad Hand and Kaz Makita, the next three to four relievers could be a revolving door. That’s partly due to the likelihood that the rotation will stress the bullpen with short outings, and partly to the abundance of talented relievers in the upper minors. Buddy Baumann, Phil Maton, Colten Brewer and Brad Wieck are already on the 40-man roster and will push McGrath, Cimber and Lyles to earn their keep. Additionally, guys like Trey Wingenter, Robert Stock and Eric Yardley could force the Padres into some tough roster decisions.
That kind of talent will allow the Padres to shop their established relievers at the trade deadline. However, I’ll go on record as saying that the Padres should, and will, hold onto Brad Hand for two reasons: First, the Hosmer signing indicates a desire to win sooner...teams that are trying to win do not trade their best players. Second, the Padres’ minor league affiliates should be able to produce six or seven complimentary bullpen pieces (setup, long relief, specialists, etc), but finding a really solid closer, especially one that can go multiple innings, is far more difficult.
The Roster Math:
Alex Dickerson is headed to the 60-Day DL, and Carter Capps and Rowan Wick were both designated for assignment opening three spots on the 40-man roster. That makes room for non-roster invitees A.J. Ellis, Raffy Lopez, and Adam Cimber.
Allen Cordoba, Franchy Cordero, Dinelson Lamet, Colin Rea and Matt Strahm will start on the 10-Day DL.
Tyson Ross is currently NOT on the 40-man roster.
Positives: The Padres finally have a solid defensive shortstop in Freddy Galvis. Hunter Renfroe should be in a position to maximize his value against LHP. Jose Pirela is going to get a chance to repeat his 2017. Brad Hand is still awesome.
Negatives: Villanueva/Headley/Spangenberg at third base, with no replacement on the horizon, is not very exciting. The starting rotation has a ton of holes (actually, it’s just one big hole), especially with the injury to Lamet. There are no left handed bats in the outfield, unless the Padres are really counting on Spangenberg’s versatility.
Unknowns: Who is Wil Myers (2016: 3.9 WAR or 2017: 0.9 WAR)? Who is Eric Hosmer (2016: -0.9 WAR or 2017: 4.1 WAR)? Is Bryan Mitchell the 2018 version of Drew Pomeranz? Can Margot or Hedges take the next step offensively? Will Renfroe be more than a platoon player?
How does this team look? What surprised you? Which players need to be on a short leash?
How many games will the 2018 Padres win?
This poll is closed
70 or Fewer
90 or More