10:59am: The Friars have a surprising plan in place for one aspect of their early-season roster maneuvering. They’ll promote young lefty Nick Margevicius to start Saturday’s game, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter).
Margevicius, a 2017 seventh-round draft pick, has not pitched above the High-A level.
10:37am: As expected, the Padres announced today that they have selected the contract of top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. To open roster space, the club designated righty Bryan Mitchell for assignment.
While the Tatis promotion was already known, the decision to drop Mitchell is rather fascinating. The righty had seemed in line for a rotation spot despite an ugly spring showing. Instead, the Friars will carry six outfielders on their initial roster after claiming Socrates Brito yesterday.
Clearly, something has to give. It seems that the organization is opening with an unbalanced roster alignment in order to hang onto resources. Some early-season transactions seem all but inevitable; whether that’ll involve an outside acquisition or internal promotion remains to be seen.
It seems likely that Mitchell will end up clearing waivers and remaining in the organization, so this may not be the end of the line for him. But the move still represents an acknowledgement that things haven’t worked out as hoped. The San Diego organization effectively purchased his rights in a swap last winter from the Yankees, but Mitchell coughed up 44 earned runs and carried a brutal 38:43 K/BB ratio in 73 MLB frames in 2018.