Notes: 5 sent down; Pham in OF?; starters shine

March 12th, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After a standout Spring Training, Padres outfield prospect Taylor Trammell was among five players sent to Minors camp on Wednesday. If Trammell continues to perform like he has over the past few weeks, it won't be long before he's back wearing a San Diego uniform.

Trammell was always a long shot to make the Opening Day roster, so Wednesday's move should come as no surprise. But he was excellent this spring, posting a 1.049 OPS while playing some solid outfield defense.

"He's improving in the outfield, improving on the baserunning," said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “His ability to hit left-handers, just his overall game -- it seems like he's grown in a lot of areas, and it seems like he has that mindset where he's always looking for information. He's looking for ways to improve."

The Padres’ starting outfield is seemingly set, with in right, in center and in left. But there’s at least one spot available on the bench, and possibly two. Trammell would’ve needed to surpass Josh Naylor, Franchy Cordero, Juan Lagares and Abraham Almonte to win a roster spot.

The Padres also optioned pitching prospects Adrian Morejon and Ronald Bolaños to Minors camp. Morejon struggled over three outings this spring, allowing 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings. Bolaños hadn't pitched because of lingering soreness in his rib cage.

Righties Stephen Wilson and Kyle Barraclough were also reassigned to Minors camp, with innings in the bullpen drying up.

Pham's outfield debut imminent

Whether or not Pham makes his outfield debut on Thursday, the Padres are clearly encouraged enough with his progress to consider him game-ready.

The team's tentative plan is for Pham to start in left field on Thursday, which would mark his first appearance as a defender this spring. Pham spent the offseason recovering from a UCL sprain that limited him to designated-hitter duties for the Rays late in 2019.

The Padres have brought Pham along slowly this spring. He only recently began going through regular outfield drills, after his throwing progression reached 150 feet last week.

"We're expecting him to be out there tomorrow, that's the plan," Tingler said Wednesday. "We've got to wait on the weather. ... I wouldn't be excited about running him out on wet grass or a wet, sloppy field. If it's in condition where it looks good, we'd love to get him out there."

In eight games as a designated hitter this spring, Pham is hitting .190/.320/.286.

Strong showing from starters

and took the mound 40 miles apart in a pair of split-squad games on Wednesday night. The two Padres right-handers combined for seven innings of one-hit ball.

Quantrill, who is suddenly making a serious push for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, pitched three scoreless, hitless frames in a 3-2 loss to the Cubs in Mesa, lowering his spring ERA to 1.29. He's vying for the final place in the rotation alongside Joey Lucchesi, who has struggled lately.

Lamet, meanwhile, has already secured his spot in the starting five. And it's easy to see why. He's been flat-out dominant this spring, allowing just three hits over nine scoreless frames.

Lamet's two breaking pitches have been borderline untouchable. He used them often on Wednesday night, whiffing three Mariners in four scoreless frames of a 4-2 loss to the Mariners, a game shortened to seven innings by rain.

Up next

Right-hander Zach Davies gets the ball Thursday afternoon when the Padres travel to Goodyear to face Cleveland at 1:05 p.m. PT, live on Gameday Audio. Offseason bullpen acquisitions Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagán are also slated to throw, with Pham perhaps set to make his first start in the outfield. Pham spent the offseason recovering from a UCL sprain and has been built up slowly in his throwing progression.