MLB

Padres Set Wild Card Series Roster Before Game 1 in New York

Friars keep 14 position players, 12 pitchers for best-of-3 series

The Padres have set their 26-man roster for the best-of-3 Wild Card series against the Mets that starts in New York on Friday night. As expected, they're keeping 14 position players and 12 pitchers. That means there's an interesting mix of players tasked with trying to knock off a Mets team that won 101 games in the regular season, and it's extremely possible that all of them will be used even in a short series.

"Moves probably come a little bit quicker. You're probably not as patient as other points in time during the game," says Padres manager Bob Melvin, who is making his 8th trip to the post-season as a skipper.

The full roster looks like this:

RHP (7): Yu Darvish, Luis García, Pierce Johnson, Nick Martinez, Joe Musgrove, Robert Suarez, Steven Wilson
LHP (5): Josh Hader, Tim Hill, Sean Manaea, Adrian Morejon, Blake Snell
C (3): Jorge Alfaro, Luis Campusano, Austin Nola
INF (7): Josh Bell, Jake Cronenworth, Brandon Dixon, Brandon Drury, Ha-Seong Kim, Manny Machado, Wil Myers
OF (4): José Azocar, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar, Juan Soto

You may have noticed a couple of interesting omissions, most notably starting pitcher Mike Clevinger. While Clevinger just arrived in New York on Thursday night after dealing with an illness (he had two negative COVID tests and flew separate from the team) he's not on the roster because the Padres will be playing, at most, three games so they don't need a 4th starter. If they advance, Clevinger would be added to the National League Division Series and most likely start Game 1 or Game 2.

The Padres are instead going to start Yu Darvish in Game 1, Blake Snell in Game 2, and if necessary Joe Musgrove in Game 3 so they loaded up with nine relievers because that's simply how post-season baseball works in 2022.

"Bullpens are extremely important. They're the ones that finish out the games. Very rarely do you see a complete game in the regular season, let alone a post-season game," says Melvin. "So, our bullpen is going to be very important to us."

Veteran righty Craig Stammen and innings eater Nabil Crismatt are also not on the active roster for the Wild Card round.

As for the position players, Brandon Dixon's addition may come as a surprise. The La Jolla native only joined the club at the end of September and only appeared in five games but he offers some serious position flexibility. Dixon has appeared in a Major League game at 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, left field, right field, designated hitter, and even pitched in mop-up duty.

The Mets are also going with 14 hitters and 12 pitchers, but they may have chosen the wrong ones. The Padres went 4-2 against New York in 2022, beating Max Scherzer and twice topping Chris Bassitt. The only Mets starter to beat the Friars was Carlos Carrasco. New York won both the games where Cookie took the mound and lost every other matchup but the Mets chose to keep Bassitt on the roster for a potential Game 3 start and left Carrasco off (it is worth noting that Game 2 starter Jacob deGrom was injured and did not see the Friars this year).

For a full breakdown of the keys to this series, click here. We outline all the major stories, discuss the potential unsung heroes of Wild Card weekend, and give a prediction on who gets to go to Los Angeles for an NLDS showdown against the Dodgers.

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