The story behind the 25-man roster

Good morning and happy day-before-Opening Day.

I was off Tuesday, doing the kind of things I should be doing (or that my wife expects) after spending 43 days in Arizona. I would tell you but I don’t want to bore you more than I already do.

Spoiler alert: I mowed my own lawn. Sorry, inside joke there.

Anyway, the Padres defeated the Royals last night at Petco Park, 2-1. You can read about all the details here.

Clayton Richard looked good, was efficient and got a lot of ground balls. That’s sort of the recipe for success that worked well for him in 2010 when he won 14 games.

It also goes to show that if you get a pitcher out of Arizona, different things happen — most of them good. For those calling for Richard to move out of the rotation after some rough starts this spring, this is a good teaching moment for you moving forward. Enter with your own risk when you’re trying to evaluate performances in spring.

Busy day at the ballpark, as the Padres announced their 25-man Opening Day roster after the game.

What to make of the 25-man roster? There’s a few interesting things to take note of.

Andy Parrino won the backup infield job over Everth Cabrera. I’m sure this rated as a tough decision for the front office. Parrino played well this spring and showed that he can handle several positions defensively. That’s the key here. The Padres aren’t wondering if Parrino is going to win a game with his bat this season. They just don’t want him to lose one with his glove, if that makes sense. I will be honest, I thought the job was for Cabrera to lose. Parrino more than narrowed the gap this spring. I should probably apologize for not giving him a fair shake. Fruit basket, maybe?

Brad Brach didn’t make the team, but I think he was more a victim of circumstances than anything else. I think Brach more than showed that he deserved a spot on the 25-man roster. He was very good this spring and rediscovered his change-up, a pitch he hadn’t used much since college. Now, a one-inning reliever and a Minor League closer doesn’t need more than two pitches (usually) but I like Brach’s confidence in his change-up. I also like his makeup. This is a guy who has saved over 100 games in the Minor Leagues. I think we’ll see him a lot in San Diego in 2012.

— Now for these circumstances I was talking about regarding Brach. The Padres didn’t place Tim Stauffer (right triceps strain) on the disabled list, which means we’ll see him that second week of the season. But, of course, it essentially means the Padres are down a pitcher for these first four games against the Dodgers. That means the Padres had to carry a true long man and that spot went to Micah Owings. If the Padres get bombed in a game, they can lean on Owings for multiple innings. Brach can’t do that. So this really wasn’t a Brach vs. Owings issue.

— Also, I think Anthony Bass and his performance this spring changed the way the Padres view him. Brass rolled his impressive performance in 2011 with the Padres into the Arizona Fall League and then right into Spring Training, where he impressed the staff. His fastball command was very good, his change-up was also good at times and he got better at controlling the running game. I wrote about Bass on March 21 and how I thought the Padres would use him much like the way they did Cory Luebke a year ago. I think the team views him as an important piece to the bullpen more so than when Spring Training started. Don’t look for him in mop-up roles.

Jeremy Hermida made the Opening Day roster with Mark Kotsay going on the disabled list. Honestly, I don’t know how much he’ll play but he’s got some pop to offer off the bench. He had a good spring, too — even after tearing ligaments in his pinky. Five outfielders on the roster so it’s going to be tough to get much playing time.

That’s it for now.

Corey Brock, MLB.com

Twitter: @FollowThePadres

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