Mar 16, 2012; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black (20) points to the bullpen to take starting pitcher Tim Stauffer (center) out of the game after allowing four earned runs during the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at the Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Padres need to fill rotation spots

As pitchers start throwing today, the Padres have a lot of work to do to finalize their starting pitching rotation. The Padres have 36 guys who’ve reported to camp and most of those players will participate in drills today in Peoria, Arizona.

Sept. 20, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard (33) throws during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres are not likely to go after a guy who’s not already in the orginization to fill the void. The Padres GM told the Padres offical website, “There is a chance we can solve [the rotation] with our own guys.” He went on to say that if an opportunity presented itself, that they’d be open to adding another body but they weren’t actively pursuing anyone specific at the moment. Adding to the 36 guys already there today, Jose De Paula is set to report on Thursday.

As of right now, only Clayon Richard and Edison Volquez have a starting spot locked down.

Richard went 14-14 last season with a 3.99 ERA, with one complete game shutout. He was 16th in the NL in wins, 1st in the NL in games started, 4th in the NL in innings pitched and 24th in the NL in WHIP. Last season is basically how his career has gone. He has a career record of 44-42 with an ERA of 4.13. Just last week, he was named the Padres Pitcher of the Year for the 2012 season. Hopefully he builds off of that and has an even better season and become the Padres true number one guy.

Volquez was essentially the same. He had a record of 11-11 last season with a 4.14 ERA. He, like Richard, had a

August 20, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (37) throws during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

single complete game shutout. Last season, he was 9th in the NL in batting average against, 13th in games started, and 17th in strikeouts. Volquez has proved that he’s capable of producing in the past. He was an All Star selection with the Cincinnati Red in 2008. He went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and finished in the Top 25 of seven categories in the NL.

Jason Marquis is likely to earn a spot despite posting an 8-11 record and a lackluster 5.22 ERA.

Other pitchers in camp who could legitimately compete for the final three spots in the starting rotation include Anthony Bass, Case Kelly, Tyson Ross, Eric Stultz, and non-roster invitees Freddy Garcia and Robbie Erlin. Tim Stauffer is also expected to compete but is “about two weeks behind other pitchers” according to the team’s official site.

Three other potential starters who won’t be participating with the team right away are Corey Luebke, Andrew Cashner, and Joe Wieland. Cashner is almost ready to go after recovering from surgery while Luebke and Wieland aren’t expected to be back until midseason or later.

So for now, the Padres will look for a strong camp from the numerous pitchers and go from there. Excitement is up and competition is high in Arizona.


You can follow Matt on Twitter @Welch1048.


Tags: Clayton Richard Edison Volquez San Diego Padres Spring Training