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Padres have options aplenty for rotation in '18

Richard, Perdomo, Lamet locked into top spots, with lots of competition for back end
MLB.com @JALaymance

Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been stockpiling arms all offseason, and there could be 10 pitchers who will compete for a starting rotation spot during Spring Training. Preller recently acquired Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees, and brought back Tyson Ross and Chris Young on Minor League deals.

• Hot Stove Tracker

Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been stockpiling arms all offseason, and there could be 10 pitchers who will compete for a starting rotation spot during Spring Training. Preller recently acquired Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees, and brought back Tyson Ross and Chris Young on Minor League deals.

• Hot Stove Tracker

MLB.com is taking a look at the projected rotation of all 30 teams ahead of Spring Training. Here's how the Padres might stack up:

ROTATION IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Clayton Richard, LHP
Luis Perdomo, RHP
Dinelson Lamet, RHP
Colin Rea, RHP
Robbie Erlin, LHP

STRENGTH
Preller has done well to create depth at a position that lacked it in 2017. Richard, Perdomo and Lamet seem to be locked into the Opening Day rotation, but there figures to be plenty of competition for the remaining two spots. The Padres have used a six-man rotation in the Minor Leagues, but it's not yet clear if they would do the same at the Major League level in 2018. Starting pitching depth is a luxury, and one the Padres appear to have.

QUESTION MARK
Which young pitchers will emerge? That's the biggest question facing this rotation right now. Perdomo and Lamet have shown serious promise in their brief tenures in the big leagues. However, neither has backed up that promise with much consistency. The Padres will ask a lot of both pitchers in 2018.

Video: Cassavell reflects on Lamet's exciting rookie season

WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
The back end of the rotation could certainly have a different look between now and Opening Day, as there are at least six pitchers who will compete for the final two spots in Spring Training. That group includes: Rea, Erlin, Mitchell, Ross, Young and Matt Strahm.

Preller has also stated that he could add starting pitchers from outside the organization. Internally, four of the club's top prospects as ranked by MLB Pipeline pitched for Double-A San Antonio last season -- No. 2 Cal Quantrill, No. 8 Eric Lauer, No. 9 Joey Lucchesi and No. 14 Jacob Nix. It's possible that all four receive invites to Major League Spring Training. Health is another factor in filling out a rotation, as Rea, Erlin and Strahm are all returning from injury.

Video: Justice on how Padres have options for 2018 rotation

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance.

 

San Diego Padres, Robbie Erlin, Dinelson Lamet, Luis Perdomo, Colin Rea, Clayton Richard