Padres Rotation is Long on Talent

Last two guys to get starting roles are intriguing

The Padres finalized their Opening Day roster on Sunday. Their sixth infielder will be Adam Rosales while Ryan Buchter gets the final spot in the bullpen. The last decision came in the starting rotation.

On the very first day of Spring Training we found out the top 3 starters in the Padres rotation would be Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner. But we didn’t learn the last two starters until the final weekend of the Spring.

Padres manager Andy Green is giving left-hander Drew Pomeranz one of the nods. He’s been a reliever the last couple of seasons but the Friars are giving him a chance to return to his starting roots.

“Once you put him in the bullpen that’s pretty much over,” said Green. “You take the opportunity for him to start, see how he does, you ride that as long as possible and if it doesn’t work out he slides back in to the rotation.”

Pomeranz broke in to the majors as a full-time starter for the Rockies. But pitching in Colorado is not a very accurate test of a pitcher’s abilities.

“Even though I’ve been pretty good out of the bullpen they obviously see something,” said Pomeranz. “There’s still hope left on being a starter, I guess. Obviously it makes you feel good about it.”

This time around the Padres expect Pomeranz to, as Green says, pitch with aggression.

“I think he’s gotta consistently step on the gas if he’s gonna be great,” said Green. “We had that conversation with him; it’s not a matter of just pacing yourself the whole time. He can pitch with some energy and when he does it’s really good.”

Joining Pomeranz in the rotation is youngster Colin Rea. Ranked as the 6th-best prospect in the Padres’ system, Rea started six games at the end of last season and threw well enough to make him think he belongs in the Big Leagues.

“It just helped believing in myself,” said Rea. “Getting up there last year was good experience to get some innings under my belt and see what it’s like up there. It gives me confidence going forward. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the most part I though it went pretty good so now I’ve just got to build off that.”

Pomeranz will likely get the 4th spot in the rotation while Rea takes the ball on Day 5. One thing to keep an eye on is how many innings they’ve thrown. Rea has never gone more than 139 innings in five professional seasons and Pomeranz has not topped 100 innings since 2013.

Their first starts of the year will come on the road in … Colorado. Wish them luck.

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