The Padres are in the process of finalizing their pitching plans for the start of the coming campaign. Righty reliever Adam Cimber has forced his way onto the Opening Day roster after turning in an unexpectedly excellent spring, as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports on Twitter. The 27-year-old built off of a quality 2017 effort in the upper minors — over which he threw 80 2/3 innings of 2.90 ERA ball with 7.3 K/9 and just 1.1 BB/9 — by posting nine scoreless frames in the Cactus League. Meanwhile, veteran righty Chris Young will not break camp in the majors, Acee also tweets. It’s not known at this point whether he’ll exercise his opt-out clause, but that’s at least an option for the towering 38-year-old, whose spring (15 strikeouts but also four home runs in 14 1/3 innings) largely imitated his past two seasons’ output (116 strikeouts but also 35 home runs in 118 2/3 innings).
Here are a few more notes from the National League:
- It seems increasingly unlikely that the Brewers will make a move to alleviate their evident logjam of bats. As Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports, that has left some eyebrows raised among the team’s players, some of whom still aren’t sure exactly how much playing time they’ll get once the season gets underway. It’s not exactly a new subject, of course, as the Milwaukee roster has been under a microscope all winter long. But it’s interesting to consider it from the player’s perspective, as Nightengale does. As third baseman Travis Shaw puts it: “Depth is a nice problem to have, but I’m sure it sucks individually for a couple of guys.” Meanwhile, skipper Craig Counsell says “there’ll be a lot of shuffling going on” early in the season, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports, but also notes that he anticipates some clarity to emerge as the season goes along.
- Pedro Moura of The Athletic takes a long look (subscription link) at talented Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo, who drew much better reviews in camp this year than he did in his brief MLB call-up in 2017. The change wasn’t to his swing mechanics, though. Instead, Verdugo impressed the organization by making strides with his work ethic and attitude. As Moura documents, those improvements were the result of intentional offseason effort, though Verdugo’s overall level of professionalism also surely remains a work in progress.