Padres: Pitching not required

It’s no secret the Padres — especially playing in a big ballpark — have tried to built their team with run prevention in mind.

That equates to pitching and defense. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This winter, the team hasn’t placed pitching atop their off-season wish list. They’re reasonably happy with the arms and the depth they have for the rotation going into 2014.

There are plenty of candidates for five spots — Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Eric Stults are essentially assured of spots. Robbie Erlin, Burch Smith, Joe Wieland, Cory Luebke (if healthy) will be in the mix and young arms like Juan Oramas, Matt Wisler, Matt Andriese, Donn Roach and Keyvius Sampson might not be far off.

That’s not the say the Padres will turn their back on arms this winter. However, a deal — and any additions would likely come through trade, not free agency — would only be for a front of the rotation type starter or someone who offers long-term value.

Instead, the Padres will focus mostly on finding a left-handed bat after the team went through a woeful season against right-handed pitchers.

— Corey Brock


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Bullpen needs can also be found internally with some of their young starters getting their first taste of the majors beginning in the bullpen. Luebke’s first season was in the pen, I expect Wisler could be there with Oramas to boost the pen similar to Cardinals move with Martinez.

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So is Tim Stauffer ever going to get a chance at a rotation spot again?

Clearly, the pen needs help from the left side. The starters numbers after the likes of Volquez, Richard and Marquis exited were much improved. Pitching Coach Balsley’s efforts with Cashner and Ross were impressive. Were Kennedy to bounce back, the top of the rotation shows promise. Likewise, Erlin’s last 5 starts showed equal promise and I would expect Stultz to stabilize the backend until the likes of Wieland and Kelly rebound from their injuries. Were Stauffer to move on, I would guess that either of those two could fill the long-man role. The real question is how long it will take for the real Maybin to appear. The team desperately needs consistent offensive production from the outfield. If Denorfia is the 4th outfielder, with 1/2-3/4 of a year’s production out of CQ and a hopefully a 2013 year’s worth of production out of Venable in right, they can’t afford a mere .260 BA, 9HR, 30 SB in CF. As it is, the team will most likely stick with what they have and hope for maturity and improvement AND good health!

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