Thursday, March 14, 2013
Padres losing another arm?
By Jason Catania
The San Diego Padres have a lot of possibilities for their rotation. But an organization whose young pitchers have been fraught with injuries over the past year might be getting bad news on one key candidateMLB.com's Corey Brock reports via Twitter that top prospect Casey Kelly, who hasn't pitched since March 7, will have his sore elbow checked out. Kelly battled elbow issues early on in 2012, which delayed his MLB debut until last August, so this is a foreboding development.
Since the start of last season, the Padres have dealt with significant injuries to Kelly, Cory Luebke, Andrew Cashner, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, each of whom is supposed to be a big part of the club's future. The 28-year-old Luebke and 23-year-old Wieland underwent Tommy John surgery last year and are expected to be back midseason. Meanwhile the 26-year-old Cashner, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn tendon in his thumb following a rather unusual accident, will miss the beginning of 2013. Erlin, a 22-year-old left-hander, missed part of 2012 with elbow inflammation but could be ready to make his big league debut soon.
As for the 2013 rotation, Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune offered his breakdown of the candidates, with right-hander Edinson Volquez and southpaw Clayton Richard as the only locks.
The other options include: Jason Marquis, Anthony Bass, Eric Stults, Tyson Ross and Freddy Garcia. That's a veritable Who's Who of veteran journeyman, but with all the injuries to the more promising young pitchers, San Diego may be forced to go with a few of those vets.
The Padres' five-man might not look all that pretty at the outset, but getting some of their impact arms back as the season progresses will be a key going forward.