San Diego Padres: Could Colin Rea Start on Opening Day?

Of all the uncertainties entering 2017, quite possibly the most intriguing is the Opening Day starter. The San Diego Padres have several options to consider, including right-hander Colin Rea.

The San Diego Padres have a lot of work to do when it comes to their pitching staff. No starter on their active roster is set in stone, and who will serve as the club’s ace is very uncertain.

Of course, there are indications of who may be front runners to fill this role. Edwin Jackson clearly has the most experience, Clayton Richard had the best 2016, and Tyson Ross won the job in 2016.

While all of these options would not surprise fans, 26-year-old Colin Rea may. Starting Rea on opening day is not out of the realm of possibility though. Entering his third major league season with only 25 starts under his belt, it seems that Jackson or Ross would be the more ideal choice.

But the Padres consider Rea to be a significant part of the future of their rotation. With a career ERA of 4.69, the Cascade, Iowa native has a career record of 12-12.

A real concern though is Rea’s excessive amount of walks. The right-hander has given out 55 free passes in his career, and has struck out just 106. This must be improved upon if Rea wishes to compete for an Opening Day slot.

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Rea was involved in the infamous series of mistakes made by General Manager A.J. Preller, who allegedly failed to disclose information about possible injuries. The Miami Marlins, who acquired Rea in late July, were suspicious when the starter was injured after just one outing. This led to his return to San Diego, which the Padres hope to make the most of.

Rea, Ross, Jackson, Richard, and Jarred Cosart are most likely to be the five starters in 2017, but even this can change. It is much too early to have a good idea of who will earn an Opening Day start, but it is logical to include Rea into this discussion due to his youth and possible future with the organization.

Putting Rea into this role so early in his career would upset some Padres’ fans. Still, fans must understand that the team is in a full blown rebuilding process. This means that even players with as much inexperience and uncertainty as Rea can contend to play such a valuable role.

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