The San Diego Padres got blown out last night but at least Joe Musgrove makes his 2023 debut tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Him returning means that the rotation is going to look a little bit different. It started as a six-man rotation but now will be going to the traditional five-man rotation, according to Kevin Acee. Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell are used to pitching every fifth day and the Padres obviously want to pitch their best starters more frequently.
With Musgrove coming back, now the Padres technically have seven starters on their roster so two need to head to the bullpen. Those two are going to be Nick Martinez and Ryan Weathers.
Acee wrote yesterday that Weathers was available out of the ‘pen last night but he obviously didn’t get any action. He threw six innings on Monday against the Atlanta Braves so perhaps his next outing will come in a situation where he can throw multiple innings so that he can continue to be as built up as possible.
To be clear, Weathers isn’t moving to the bullpen because he did something wrong in the rotation. He actually pleasantly surprised a lot of Padres fans, pitching to a 2.81 ERA in his three starts. It’s just that one of the Padres best pitchers is returning so someone had to get bumped out.
“I’m ready to do whatever [Bob Melvin] asks me to do and help this team win ballgames,” Weathers told Acee recently.
Martinez, who is coming off his best outing of the year (7 IP, 1 ER on Wednesday), also could make his first relief appearance of 2023 in a multi-inning situation. The Padres could have him finish a game to give the bullpen a night off if it was heavily taxed the night before.
Don’t expect Martinez to remain in the bullpen for the rest of the season. Seth Lugo hasn’t thrown 100 innings in a season since 2018 so there’s going to be a time where San Diego decides to lessen Lugo’s workload so that he can last the entire season.
In the meantime, we should expect Martinez to help the bullpen out. The 32-year-old posted a 2.67 ERA last year in 54 relief appearances.