The San Diego Padres have made a couple of moves since my first Opening Day roster projection last month. A.J. Preller has added Michael Wacha to be in the rotation and Rougned Odor to compete for one of the bench spots that is up for grabs. Here’s my updated Opening Day roster predictions. Do you agree with them? Feel free to do your own!
Austin Nola, Luis Campusano
Campusano has been dealing with some hamstring tightness but he should have enough time to be ready for Opening Day as the Padres backup catcher. It remains to be seen if the 24-year-old can earn the starting job at some point this season.
Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Ha-Seong Kim, Jake Cronenworth, Brandon Dixon
Those first four guys are locks to make the roster. Rougned Odor hit two homers in one of the Padres spring games over the weekend but he’s still a long shot to make the team. While he’s a left-handed bat, the 29-year-old doesn’t provide as much versatility to the club as Dixon does, who can play the outfield and multiple infield spots.
Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, Adam Engel, David Dahl
Adam Engel is just starting to play in Cactus League games after dealing with a calf strain but he still has 2.5 weeks to get the at-bats he needs to be ready for the season so I think he’ll make the roster over Jose Azocar. Engel is the one who signed a major league contract in the offseason and has more power potential than Azocar. “Sugar” has still had one heck of a start to spring, as he’s hitting .313 in 32 at-bats.
San Diego likely wants a left-handed outfielder on the roster for matchups beyond Juan Soto at least until Fernando Tatis Jr. returns so Dahl seems to be on track to make the team.
Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz
Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Michael Wacha, Nick Martinez, Seth Lugo, Joe Musgrove
I have Musgrove on the roster because he’s ahead of schedule in terms of his timetable to return and he recently told the media, which included The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, that he “isn’t dismissing the possibility of being ready to start April 6 in Atlanta”, which would be the Padres seventh game of the season. If he made that start, that would prevent the club from putting him on the 10-day IL to start the season.
Josh Hader, Robert Suarez, Luis Garcia, Drew Pomeranz, Tim Hill, Steven Wilson, Nabil Crismatt
In my first projection I had Adrian Morejon and Jose Lopez getting the last two spots in the bullpen but Morejon just had to leave his last Cactus League outing due to discomfort above his elbow and Jose Lopez (13.50 ERA) has made some mental errors in games so far in spring.
Bob Melvin has said this month that he anticipates Crismatt will be on the roster as a long man. He also doesn’t have any options remaining. Honeywell would make my roster if Musgrove wasn’t on it but there is a 13 pitcher limit on rosters so there isn’t room for Honeywell with Musgrove not on the IL. The 27-year-old does have minor league options remaining according to A.J. Cassavell.
To hear more of my thoughts on why I picked certain players, you can watch or listen to the latest episode of Talking Friars!
Padres Opening Day Roster Projection #2— Talking Friars (@TalkingFriars) March 14, 2023
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