The San Diego Padres have made a couple of moves since my second Opening Day roster projection in the middle of March. A.J. Preller and the organization has decided to reassign Julio Teheran, Tim Lopes and Pedro Severino to the minor leagues with Brandon Dixon being optioned. Who’s going to get these last spots that have to be filled since Joe Musgrove, Drew Pomeranz and Robert Suarez will be starting the season on the IL?
Here’s my final Opening Day roster predictions. Do you agree with them? Feel free to do your own!
Austin Nola, Luis Campusano
With Severino going down, Nola should be able to give it a go on Opening Day. Campusano dealt with some hamstring tightness earlier in spring but it ended up not being a big deal. He hit three homers this spring and should get more playing time than he ever has at the major league level this season.
Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Ha-Seong Kim, Jake Cronenworth, Rougned Odor
Those first four guys are locks to make the roster and Rougned Odor is as close to a lock as you can get because Dixon and Lopes are no longer in the running to be on the 26-man roster. The 29-year-old has been taking reps in the outfield so don’t be surprised if you see him play there in an emergency situation.
Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, Jose Azocar, David Dahl
Adam Engel didn’t get to play in very many Cactus League games, as he was dealing with a calf strain early in camp before straining his hamstring diving for a ball in the gap late in spring so he didn’t have a chance to make the team.
Engel’s health and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s suspension paved the way for Azocar and Dahl to make the team. Both outfielders should be splitting time in right field while Tatis is serving the final 20 games of his suspension. Azocar and Dahl both had an OPS north of .300 in the Cactus League.
Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz
These two veterans are expected to split time as the designated hitter based on who is starting on the mound for the opposing team each night. Carpenter may also get some time at first base with Cronenworth shifting over to second base if there’s a tough righty on the bump.
Blake Snell, Nick Martinez, Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, Ryan Weathers, Yu Darvish
I have Darvish as the sixth man because if it goes as planned, he’ll be making his first start of the regular season in the sixth game of the season. Snell is getting the Opening Day start for the first time as a Padre with Martinez, Wacha and Lugo starting the final three games of the Colorado Rockies series.
It isn’t known who will be pitching the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks but Jay Groome was sent down earlier today so if we’re trying to predict who will make that start based on who’s left in big league camp, then it’s likely going to be Weathers getting the nod. I thought Groome deserved the start even though he hasn’t pitched in the majors yet. The 24-year-old didn’t allow an earned run in Spring Training until his final start, posting a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings.
Josh Hader, Luis Garcia, Tim Hill, Steven Wilson, Nabil Crismatt, Brent Honeywell, Domingo Tapia
Robert Suarez is dealing with arm soreness so he won’t be on the roster, which opens up a second spot in the bullpen after Drew Pomeranz dealt with a setback earlier this month. Because I have Weathers in the rotation and Groome was sent down, I have Honeywell and Tapia getting the final two bullpen spots. Honeywell has the ability to give Bob Melvin multiple innings out of the ‘pen if needed and Tapia had a sub-3 ERA this spring with a fastball that can touch 100 mph.
Do you agree with my roster projection? Let me know in the comments!