The San Diego Padres have finalized their 2017 Opening Day roster. As expected it is young and interesting. Here's the squad they'll take to Los Angeles on Monday:
- RHP Jhoulys Chacin
- LHP Clayton Richard
- RHP Trevor Cahill
- RHP Jered Weaver
- RHP Luis Perdomo
- RHP Brandon Maurer
- LHP Ryan Buchter
- RHP Jarred Cosart
- LHP Brad Hand
- RHP Craig Stammen
- LHP Jose Torres
- RHP Miguel Diaz (Rule 5 draftee)
Not many surprises in this group although RHP Phil Maton impressed in Spring Training. He and his 96-MPH heater will be in El Paso to continue learning how to be a closer.
- Austin Hedges
- Christian Bethancourt
- Hector Sanchez
- Luis Torrens (Rule 5 draftee)
Bethancourt is basically going to be the 8th relief pitcher so he's the emergency backup to the emergency backup catcher. Hedges is the undisputed starter. They want to hang on to Torrens because the kid was one of the top prospects in the incredibly deep Yankees system. He’s on 20 years old, though, and since Hedges is just 31 at-bats over the rookie limit they need another veteran in the mix. Sanchez has done a nice job filling that role.
- Wil Myers
- Yangervis Solarte
- Erick Aybar
- Luis Sardinas
- Ryan Schimpf
- Allen Cordoba (Rule 5 draftee)
They also want to hang on to Cordoba because the kid was one of the top prospects in the incredibly deep Cardinals system. Sardinas made it over Cory Spangenberg because they need an experienced backup at SS to give Aybar a breather. Now I know what you’re thinking. If they have six infielders then that only leaves them three roster spots left. This is where position flexibility is likely going to come in handy.
- Manuel Margot
- Hunter Renfroe
- Travis Jankowski
Keep in mind Bethancourt, Cordoba and Myers can all play the outfield, as well, and Solarte can back up Myers at 1st if Wil has to spell someone at his old spot.
It's nice to see the team keep Margot up. There was talk of him starting the year at El Paso due to service time concerns but he earned his roster spot.
The Padres will have three Rule 5 draftees on the roster and a total of six rookies (Diaz, Torrens, Cordoba, Torres, Renfroe, and Margot) in the mix. Padres General Manager A.J. Preller is still in the talent accumulation phase of the great San Diego rebuild so it stands to reason that they’ll let the kids take their lumps this year hoping it pays off a couple of years down the road.
Also remember the roster is going to change before the month of April ends. Poway native Alex Dickerson is expected back soon from a back injury. Pitchers Carter Capps and Christian Friedrich are also not far from being over their injuries and they will likely be quick to re-join the big league club.