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Righty Quantrill, other prospects reassigned

Padres make flurry of moves, including sending down veteran righty Wilhelmsen
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres embarked on another trip through their spring rotation Friday, as Clayton Richard tossed four scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the White Sox.

All of San Diego's starters will be stretched over four frames, and that, of course, leaves fewer innings to go around. The club made a series of roster moves Friday as a result. Right-handers Rowan Wick, Cal Quantrill, Trey Wingenter, Tom Wilhelmsen and Michael Mariot were all sent to the Minors, along with first baseman Josh Naylor, catcher Austin Allen, shortstop Javier Guerra and outfielder Franmil Reyes.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres embarked on another trip through their spring rotation Friday, as Clayton Richard tossed four scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over the White Sox.

All of San Diego's starters will be stretched over four frames, and that, of course, leaves fewer innings to go around. The club made a series of roster moves Friday as a result. Right-handers Rowan Wick, Cal Quantrill, Trey Wingenter, Tom Wilhelmsen and Michael Mariot were all sent to the Minors, along with first baseman Josh Naylor, catcher Austin Allen, shortstop Javier Guerra and outfielder Franmil Reyes.

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Perhaps the most notable move was Quantrill, the club's No. 4 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The 23-year-old right-hander made two spring appearances, allowing four runs over three innings.

"It was getting tougher and tougher with the amount of starters we had in camp to get them innings," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We're in a position right now where innings are hard to come by. [Quantrill] is going to get innings on the Minor League side. It's going to put him in a position to be successful for the season. We very much believe in his future."

Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer, fellow starting pitching prospects, remained in big league camp. Lucchesi pitched three scoreless innings on Friday, and Lauer will start Saturday. It's possible they'll join Quantrill in Minors camp soon.

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Richard has spent plenty of time around all three prospects this spring, saying he's learned as much from them as they've learned from him. After Lucchesi's outing Friday, Richard offered some high praise.

"From what I've seen it looks like he's ready [for the big leagues]," Richard said. "He's had no problem transitioning against the highest level of hitters, and he seems to hold his own very well."

Video: CWS@SD: Lucchesi gets Davidson swinging

The biggest surprise from Friday's moves was the Padres' decision to re-assign Wilhelmsen. He's in Peoria on a Minors deal and has the option to refuse the assignment -- a decision he'll ponder over the next day or two. The veteran right-hander had allowed four runs over four innings this spring.

The other moves were mostly expected, and they helped to clear up a crowded bullpen race. Green has been particularly complimentary of Wingenter, who posted a 2.45 ERA as closer for Double-A San Antonio last season. Wingenter started spring strong, but was roughed up in his last two outings and finished camp having allowed six runs over four innings.

"He's got some things to clean up," Green said. "But our faith in his long-term future hasn't changed at all. If we saw him two weeks into April, it wouldn't shock me one bit."

Roster battles

Cory Spangenberg missed a week of games after jamming his wrist in February. He made up for lost time, going 3-for-3 with a homer on Friday, while starting and finishing a tricky double play on defense. After the game, Green noted, "I couldn't possibly tell you who's ahead," in the race for the starting job at second base between Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje.

Tweet from @Padres: Yeah, that's probably the first 4-2-5-4 double play in your scorecard. #PadresST pic.twitter.com/SkLYFAbhd4

Matt Szczur has thrust himself back into the discussion for a backup outfield job. He homered, walked and made a pair of nice plays in right field. After missing time with oblique soreness, Szczur is seemingly playing catch-up in a crowded outfield race.

Kazuhisa Makita already has a place in the Padres' bullpen, but his role remains unknown. He helped his case for high-leverage innings with an impressive display Friday. Using his trademarked submarine delivery, Makita mixed his slow curve perfectly with a low-80s fastball, recording the save and a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.

Rising Stock

Righty reliever Robert Stock wasn't scheduled to pitch against the Cubs on Thursday. When his name was called in the bottom of the second, he got loose without taking the time to process whom he'd be facing.

Video: ARI@SD: Stock fans Puello with the bases loaded

"Maybe I should pay more attention to who's coming up," Stock said. "But I'm the type of pitcher that how I pitch to any hitter is the same."

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As it turned out, Stock -- who was drafted as a catcher before transitioning to the mound in 2012 -- would face Ian Happ, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the heart of the Chicago lineup. He retired them in order, striking out Bryant with a slider and Rizzo with a changeup.

Stock's offspeed pitches seem to play well against big league hitters. But it's his fastball that has catapulted him into the bullpen race. During the offseason, while training with his dad and brother, Stock's father suggested he stand a bit taller before his delivery in an effort to gain more leverage on his throws.

The 28-year-old right-hander hit 100 mph this spring, and he says he reached 101 during the offseason. Sitting in the upper 90s, it's an average uptick of at least 2 or 3 MPH.

"That's a little more [velocity] than we were expecting," Green said. "But I'm not mad at him."

Up next

Right-hander Dinelson Lamet will pitch in a back-field game on Saturday, clearing the way for Lauer to receive his first start of the spring. The Padres' No. 13 prospect will host the Indians at 12:10 p.m. PT. The game can be seen on MLB.TV and can be heard on Gameday Audio.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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