The Padres can only keep 26 players on their Opening Day roster. So, they're entering the part of Spring Training where they have a lot of tough conversations.
On Friday the Friars optioned right-hander Anderson Espinoza to Double-A San Antonio. Espinoza is working his way back from a 2nd Tommy John (elbow reconstruction) surgery and has gotten widely popular reviews from coaches during the Cactus League. The former starter is likely now a power bullpen arm.
San Diego also reassigned pitchers Dauris Valdez and Jordan Guerrero, along with infielders Pedro Florimon, Nick Tanielu and Gosuke Katoh to minor league camp. Katoh, a Rancho Bernardo High School alum, had a fantastic showing in Spring Training and put himself in a position to provide depth on a ridiculously talented Padres infield.
Interestingly, a pair of young but highly touted shortstop prospects remain in camp. 20-year-old C.J. Abrams (the 8th-ranked prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline) and 21-year-old Tucupita Marcano are still hanging around. It's the longest of long shots that either will play their way on to the Opening Day roster this year but the fact they're still around shows how well they've played and how much the organization thinks of them.
The Padres will have to part ways with about a dozen more players by the time they welcome the Diamondbacks to Petco Park for Opening Day.