Team preview: San Diego Padres
• LeBlanc, Moseley and rookie Cory Luebke are battling for the fifth-starter slot. Remember, NL-only owners: Any PETCO pitcher is worthy of your consideration. More on that below.
• Maybin is interesting now that he’s going to get a chance to play every day. He’s only age 24. He always had good power/speed potential, even if he strikes out way too much. However, he showed signs of improvement in that department last season.
The Padres like to run, as they were tied for fifth in the majors for stolen-base attempts last season. If Maybin gets on base enough, he’ll have value.
• Odd man out: The losers of the LeBlanc/Moseley/Luebke battle will head to the bullpen. Also, remember Everth Cabrera? Last year’s Opening Day shortstop is slated for backup or minor-league duty.
• Top prospects: If Luebke doesn’t make the rotation, he’ll begin the season at Triple A. Slugging outfielder Kyle Blanks was hurt for most of 2010, and is expected to begin the season in the minors. However, once he can prove he’s healthy, he’ll be able to provide a needed dose of power in the Padres’ lineup. It’s not like they’ll have a bunch of Babe Ruths in his way.
• Backup closer: Mike Adams is a stud setup man, and the logical choice to replace Bell in case of an injury or trade. Adams has a 1.81 ERA in 169 innings over the last three seasons.