The San Diego Padres currently have Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Nick Martinez and Seth Lugo as the five starting pitchers in their rotation. Could there be a sixth added for the start of the regular season?
According to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, San Diego “would like to use a six-man rotation and ease their starters into the season.”
As things stand right now, a six-man rotation would create more question marks, as there are fans already questioning if Seth Lugo and Nick Martinez will remain in the rotation for the entirety of the 2023 season since both haven’t been consistent starting pitchers in years at the big league level.
Another question about those two (and Snell) is if they’ll be able to go five or six innings consistently at least in the first half of the year. If they’re not able to, then the bullpen will be taxed early on. If a sixth starter is used, then the ‘pen will likely be even more taxed because we can’t realistically expect Jay Groome, Adrian Morejon, Brent Honeywell or Julio Teheran to get through six innings every time out.
A six-man rotation would give the starters an additional day of rest—which is probably ideal because this team expects to go deep into October—but if the Padres decide to deploy this strategy it shouldn’t be utilized for more than the first handful of times through the rotation.