Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Padres finalize Opening Day roster

Friars going with three catchers, four starting pitchers for first week
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres announced their 25-man Opening Day roster on Wednesday evening. For all intents and purposes, it'll serve as their Opening Series roster -- before things are re-shuffled further next week.

San Diego took advantage of a scheduled off-day Sunday and will begin the season by carrying 14 position players and only four starting pitchers. Tyson Ross, the club's presumed No. 5 starter, is set to open the year in Minors camp. He could be destined for an April 6 callup -- the earliest date a fifth starter would be necessary.

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres announced their 25-man Opening Day roster on Wednesday evening. For all intents and purposes, it'll serve as their Opening Series roster -- before things are re-shuffled further next week.

San Diego took advantage of a scheduled off-day Sunday and will begin the season by carrying 14 position players and only four starting pitchers. Tyson Ross, the club's presumed No. 5 starter, is set to open the year in Minors camp. He could be destined for an April 6 callup -- the earliest date a fifth starter would be necessary.

Along with Ross' reassignment, outfielder Travis Jankowski and relievers Colten Brewer, Buddy Baumann and Phil Maton were optioned to the Minors, leaving this 25-man roster:

Catcher (3): Austin Hedges, A.J. Ellis, Raffy Lopez

The Padres settled on three catchers, largely as a result of Lopez's impact left-handed bat. Ellis and Lopez boast markedly different skill sets as backups to Hedges. The club is eager for the 10-year-veteran Ellis to work alongside Hedges and its young pitchers. Lopez, meanwhile, will receive more pinch-hit at-bats, and he'll get a few starts against tough righties.

Video: TEX@SD: Lopez belts a long three-run homer

"Raffy Lopez swung the bat very well in Spring Training for us," said Padres skipper Andy Green. "Love what he brings in that regard. … A.J. Ellis, on the other hand, if you watch him handle a bullpen and you have a ton of young pitching and expect to have a ton more young pitching, you realize that's probably as valuable as anything else -- a peer that has the ability to connect and impact and lead."

To clear room for Lopez and Ellis on the 40-man roster, Alex Dickerson (elbow surgery) was placed on the 60-day DL and reliever Rowan Wick was outrighted to Triple-A.

First base (1): Eric Hosmer

Never any question here. San Diego's $144-million man will make his debut as a Padre on Thursday, and he's slated to bat third. The club has a number of options behind Hosmer -- including Wil Myers, Christian Villanueva and Chase Headley. But Hosmer played 162 games last year, and he wouldn't mind doing so again in 2018.

Second base (2): Carlos Asuaje, Cory Spangenberg

For much of the spring, the second-base job featured two players who appeared to be fighting for one place on the roster. Turns out, there was room for both.

"Cory Spangenberg showed himself to be one of the best 25 guys in Spring Training, that's why he's out here right now," Green said. "Carlos Asuaje showed himself to be one of the best 25 guys. ... We didn't come into camp with the expectation of carrying both. But it got to be tough to refuse those guys."

If not for Sunday's off-day, it's likely the Padres would've needed to make a call between the two. But with only 11 pitchers on the roster, they had space to carry an extra infielder. As Green implied, both Spangenberg and Asuaje put forth spring performances worthy of their roster places.

Third base (2): Chase Headley, Christian Villanueva

Headley -- whose .352 on-base percentage would've led the Padres last season -- is going to receive the bulk of the playing time at third base, but Villanueva should be a useful righty bat off the bench. He showed off some serious power during Spring Training, securing his roster place early in camp.

Shortstop (1): Freddy Galvis

Padres pitchers have raved about Galvis' work defensively, and his presence will be a massive boost to the Majors' most ground-ball-heavy rotation. Behind Galvis, Villanueva is the emergency backup. But if Galvis were to miss any extended time, the club wouldn't hesitate to call up another shortstop from the Minors.

Video: SD@ELP: Galvis charges, fires on the run for out

Outfield (5): Myers, Jose Pirela, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Matt Szczur

With Franchy Cordero out due to groin tightness, the final outfield spot turned into a battle between Szczur and Jankowski. Offensively, Szczur put forth a better spring, earning the spot in an incredibly tight race. He'll serve as a backup at all three positions, as well as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

That said, Szczur might have work left to do to hold off a roster push from Cordero, who could be healthy as soon as next week. Szczur is out of options and can't be sent to the Minors without first clearing waivers.

Rotation (4): Clayton Richard, Robbie Erlin, Luis Perdomo, Bryan Mitchell

The Padres were left scrambling to fill the rotation slot vacated by Dinelson Lamet, who sustained a flexor strain in his right elbow on Sunday. He was initially slated to start Friday.

Erlin is the logical choice to fill that opening, with Perdomo set to pitch Saturday and Mitchell presumably starting on Monday when the Rockies come to town. Ross could then join the fray on April 6 in Houston.

Bullpen (7): Brad Hand, Kirby Yates, Craig Stammen, Kazuhisa Makita, Kyle McGrath, Jordan Lyles, Adam Cimber

Hand, Yates, Stammen and Makita all had their places locked up before camp began. Cimber, meanwhile, wasn't even on the radar. But the sidearming right-hander put forth an absolutely dominant spring, making it impossible for the Padres to leave him out. In 10 Cactus League appearances, he allowed four hits and a walk while striking out nine over nine scoreless innings.

Lyles, who signed a guaranteed Major League deal during the offseason, is slated to serve as the club's long man, while McGrath fills a void as the only lefty in the 'pen other than Hand, who will serve as closer.

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

San Diego Padres