Boy, the Padres sure love a starting pitcher, don’t they?
They acquired Sean Manaea from the A’s for a couple prospects, one of whom can actually drink legally! In an interesting spring training quirk, Manaea was scheduled to start against the Padres yesterday for the A’s, and then after the trade it ended up being the reverse of that. It’s a small place, Arizona.
“I came to the field, and it was a little emotional — actually very emotional,” Manaea told reporters. “But it was nice to have some closure and say goodbye to the guys. And then, obviously, pitching against them was a little crazy. … It was just a whirlwind, for sure.”
The Padres seemingly have about 12 starters, except they can’t guarantee the health or quality of any of them. Mike Clevinger is going to start the season on IL, Yu Darvish is 35, and Blake Snell might be bad now. They don’t seem to trust Chris Paddack, who was the prime prospect every team couldn’t get from the Padres for the past couple years until he had historically bad luck with base runners being left on base last year. Also Joe Musgrove fell off the face of the Earth in the second half last season when not every ball put in play against him got caught (I know, it sank my fantasy team).
If Darvish is healthy and Clevinger comes back healthy and Musgrove can carry it out for more than two months and Paddack actually can strand a runner more than once a week, the Padres could have a dominant rotation. But that’s a lot of ifs, and GM A.J. Preller clearly doesn’t believe in ifs. Especially now after he thought he covered all the bases last year (get it?) and then ended up up the track while the Dodgers and Giants sprinted into the distance. That could still very well happen, but Preller isn’t going to sit around and just wait for it, clearly.