Padres primer: 3/28/10

Happy Sunday from Peoria, our last Sunday here in Arizona.

Be sure to check back later here as we’ll update on what promises to be a busy morning.

We will find out the Padres starting rotation today and there will also be a pretty significant camp cut.

First, though, let’s talk about the rotation.

Update [Sunday, 10:35 a.m.]: Well, it’s Garland, Young and Correia for the first three games. The team is still sorting through the rest. See below for the ‘why’ … I’ll stick with Richard and Latos as Nos. 4 and 5. More on Padres.com

I don’t know what everyone else is thinking but even with the two off-days (April 8 and April 13), I can envision a rotation that starts with Jon Garland in the regular-season opener in Arizona, followed by Chris Young, Kevin Correia, Clayton Richard and Mat Latos.

Again, this is me guessing but this allows: Garland to start Opening Day, Young to start the home opener at PETCO Park and Latos to start on the second game in Colorado.

The Padres could always skip Latos because of those off days. That would help curtail his innings, etc. But from what I’ve seen, and in talks I’ve had with scouts here, is that Latos is the Padres best pitcher. The guy misses bats, his stuff is very good, his command has been sharp and he’s done everything the team has asked him.

As a fan, wouldn’t you want your best pitcher in the rotation, going every fifth day?

Of course, if you skip Latos and send him to Portland to start (an idea I personally don’t like) you could afford to keep Tim Stauffer. Hmmm, interesting. But more on that below.

Another wrinkle: I talked to reliever Joe Thatcher this morning. He’s been hobbled by a sore left shoulder. He hasn’t pitched since March 19 and just got a cortisone shot on Saturday. We’re still a week away from the Padres having to officially set their roster but if he’s on the disabled list to start the season, it would make it easier for the team to keep their three out-of-options pitchers (Edward Mujica, Sean Gallagher and Stauffer).

Gallagher is already on the team and so too is Mujica (well, we’re pretty sure). Stauffer is an interesting case. He’s pitched great this spring, he pitched well at the end of last season and is a guy who can certainly go long in the bullpen. I’ve said before that the Padres could trade him — like next week when other teams are really desperate for pitching — but the Padres would only likely get a mid-level prospect. And that’s OK.

Another wrinkle, though, is that these teams that might be looking to trade for Stauffer know he’s out of options and just won’t fork over a decent prospect. Maybe it serves the Padres well to hang onto him for now. That’s the internal discussion going on. No decision has been made on if he’s on the team or not, not yet anyway. That could come soon enough, though.

Stauffer making the club would certainly be a feel-good story. A one-time prospect who fell completely off the Padres radar only to work his way back on it. He told me Saturday that he’s prepared for whatever happens.

Odd-man out here is probably Wade LeBlanc. He’s been great this spring and, maybe in a different year, would have made the team. But let’s face it: It’s highly unlikely the same starting five for the Padres on Opening Day will last the entire season. We’re going to see LeBlanc at some point.

Anyway, that’s a few thoughts for now.

Talk to you soon, Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com

1 Comment

I say move LeBlanc or Richard for a GOOD prospect, and assign the other to AAA. Then put Latos in the fourth spot and Stauffer in the fifth.

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