Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The Padres are hoping Tyson Ross will rejoin the rotation April 20. Manager Andy Green said Ross was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder issue as a "precaution."But were the Padres to need another
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The Padres are hoping Tyson Ross will rejoin the rotation April 20. Manager Andy Green said Ross was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder issue as a "precaution."
But were the Padres to need another starter before Ross returns, who is next in line?
Left-hander Robbie Erlin, who is starting Tuesday night in Philadelphia, has been moved into the rotation in Ross's spot. Green has said Brandon Maurer, who contended for a starter's job during Spring Training, will remain in the bullpen this season. Two members of the current bullpen, right-hander Carlos Villanueva and left-hander Brad Hand, each have Major League experience as a starter. Villanueva, 32, has 76 career starts although his most recent start was 2014. Hand, 26, who the Padres recently acquired on waivers from Miami, has made 43 of his 92 career appearances as a starter and made 12 starts for the Marlins last year.
The only other pitcher on the 40-man roster starting in the minor leagues is Cesar Vargas at Double-A San Antonio, who allowed two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings in his first start of the season.
The Padres have several starters with Major League experience in their Minor League system.
Brandon Morrow, who was 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts for the Padres last season before shoulder problems ended his season, made his debut with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Monday and gave up four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Jeremy Guthrie is in the rotation with Triple-A El Paso.
Another possibility would be Carlos Pimental, 26, who was rained out of his debut with El Paso last Saturday night. He was signed as a Minor League free agent by the Padres last offseason after going 12-6 with a 2.95 ERA with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs last season.
Notes from the scorebook
• Lost in the offensive exploits of Matt Kemp is an impressive, seven-game hitting streak by center fielder Jon Jay to open the Padres season. Jay is hitting .300, going 9-for-30 with two doubles, five RBIs and five runs scored. Jay was 5-for-14 with two doubles, two walks, a stolen base, four RBIs and five runs scored in the three games against the Rockies at Coors Field over the weekend after opening the season by going 1-for-4 in each of the Padres three shutout losses to the Dodgers at Petco Park.
• Alexi Amarista did something that no Padres player had done in more than 20 years Monday afternoon in Philadelphia when he drove home Derek Norris with the game-winning run on a seventh-inning squeeze bunt. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Padres scored the game winning run on a bunt was May 15, 1995, when Brad Ausmus drove home the game-winning run with a bunt single in the eighth inning of a 7-5 win over St. Louis.
• The strange infield fly ruling in the sixth inning Monday created an unusual scoring line for Hand. The fly to short left by pinch-hitter Darin Ruf came on the only pitch thrown by Hand -- who got two outs with that pitch thanks to the infield fly ruling and Amarista's tag on the runner coming into third to complete the strange double play. Hand has gotten five outs on 15 pitches in two outings.