2013 San Diego Padres

In the first installment of a five part series, I have begun projecting the rosters of each of the NL West teams. Below, I have picked a roster of 25 players for, but not for Opening Day. The players listed below are the 25 players I think will get the most playing time at their respective positions, over the course of the entire 2013 season. This week: my beloved Friars.

The 2013 San Diego Padres

Position Players

C – Yasmani Grandal
1B – Yonder Alonso
2B – Jedd Gyorko
3B – Chase Headley
SS – Everth Cabrera
LF – Carlos Quentin
CF – Cameron Maybin
RF – Rhymer Liriano

As with any team headed even remotely in the right direction, most of the names I’ve penciled in are surrounded by very little controversy. But three bear mentioning.

Jedd Gyorko was tabbed for the Opening Day job at second as far back as mid-season last year. The club will let him start the year there with a long leash, barring something very unusual or unfortunate.

Yes, Yasmani Grandal is suspended for 50 games. But John Baker and Nick Hundley should both play poorly enough that it will be easy for him to earn more starts there this season than either of them. Either Hundley plays himself back to the minors again, or John Baker will probably be released or traded for next to nothing when Grandal gets back.

As for rightfield, Chris Denorfia and Will Venable are just keeping this spot warm for Rymer Liriano at this point. Neither of them have done anything special, though Venable has been a pretty good value in a platoon role. I’m going to dream big here and say that Liriano forces the Padres’ hand in 2013, pushing his clock forward a season. He is coming off a strong year and a great showing in the Arizona Fall League. There is nothing Rymer can’t do. At 22 years old the he should manage 30 steals, has a cannon arm, and should grow into plus power, though 12-15 HR is probably more where he is at now. He won’t start on Opening Day, but may surface around midseason, and when he does it will be to play every day for a long time.

Starters

1. Clayton Richard
2. Edinson Volquez
3. Jason Marquis
4. Casey Kelly
5a. Anthony Bass
5b. Cory Luebke

Yes, six listed here. With Luebke out until the All-Star break Anthony Bass deserves a regular turn in the rotation at least until Luebke returns. He has shown promise in stints both in the rotation and out of the pen the last two seasons, and should give the Padres the luxury of being able to take their time with Luebke. If the Padres don’t let him start, instead opting for Eric Stults, they are making a mistake. Eric Stults has no future in the organization and it would be asinine to take development time away from a pitcher that does. Eric Stults should do nothing more than try out for other teams during Spring Training before being given the option of going to Tucson or hitting the pavement.

Casey Kelly is a guy who the Padres didn’t want to start the clock on last year, but when pitcher after pitcher went down due to injury, they were forced to. Now that his clock is ticking, they need to use him. The athletic righty showed he is ready for the big leagues and should get the chance to make 30 starts in 2013. He and Bass are two reasons I think the Marquis signing was a waste of money and innings. Marquis is another guy that has nothing to do with the contending teams the Padres can field in 2014 and beyond.

Relievers

CL – Huston Street
SU – Andrew Cashner
SU – Luke Gregerson
RP – Brad Boxberger
RP – Dale Thayer
RP – Tommy Layne

No surprises here, I don’t think. Cashner will likely not start much if at all following his refusal of a winter ball assignment and a hunting accident that will cost him the first month of the season. This is a young man that the Padres feel needs to get his priorities in order. Meanwhile Tommy Layne takes the LOOG-ie role from Joe Thatcher. “Thatch” has been mentioned in trade talks and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team dealt him. If they don’t though, Layne may make the team in place of Boxberger, depending on the righty’s control and command.

Bench

C – John Baker
UT – Alexi Amarista
IF – Logan Forsythe
OF – Chris Denorfia
OF – Will Venable
OF – Mark Kotsay

As for the bench, John Baker is here because I don’t have faith that Nick Hundley is going to recover from a nightmare 2012 season. Alexi Amarista is too inconsistent at the plate to warrant regular time, but provides extreme flexibility and energy off the bench. Logan Forsythe is a better bat than Everth Cabrera, but cannot do what the Nicaragua native can do on defense or on the bases. When Headley goes (if that is this year or next) Forsythe starts at second, and Gyorko heads back to third.

As mentioned above, Venable (pull-happy) and Denorfia (awful defender) just haven’t been able to provide real consistency in right. It would not be a shock for them to platoon again all season, with Venable getting the better end of a 65/35 split in time. Mark Kotsay is basically a coach that can play first and left, and knock the fastball around as a pinch-hitter.

You will notice that Jesus Guzman is not on this list. This is because he has been rumored as a throw in on a few deals this winter, and presents almost no value to the club, with so many other quality options off the bench. His DH’s glove and lack of power make him a candidate to get waved in Spring Training.

The Outlook

Don’t expect the Padres to contend this year. They had a good second half last season and Chase Headley became a true franchise player. The club even added two capable young pieces to their lineup in Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso. They should add one if not two more this year. But the window is not open for the Padres just yet, these are only signs that the blinds have finally been drawn, the light let in. Hopefully the organization can recognize this and use 2013 to get pieces of the old era out of the way, to make way for the young players that will contribute to what can be an era of sustained contention.

Coming up next, I’ll project roster of the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers. I am anticipating having a hard time piecing together what their pitching staff will look like after Kershaw and Greinke.

[RA Rowe]

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About ra_rowe

A long suffering Padres fan who grew up in San Diego, and moved to Pasadena, Rowe works as a Junior Product Manager and writes poetry in addition to knowing everything about baseball.

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  1. 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks « N[ationa]LWest Blog - February 9, 2013

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