Looming Pomeranz decision to impact rest of staff

Looming Pomeranz decision to impact rest of staff

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres are "probably a day away" from making a determination on whether Drew Pomeranz will begin the season in the rotation or the bullpen, according to manager Andy Green. That decision should create a domino effect, clearing up the roster situation for the rest of the pitching staff.

With Pomeranz in line to start Saturday's exhibition against the White Sox at Petco Park, the Padres will need to make that call soon. In essence, Pomeranz cannot pitch that game as a starter and also be available in the bullpen for the season opener against the Dodgers on Monday.

Pomeranz has started twice this spring and appeared in four games as a reliever. If he opens the season in the bullpen, that would most likely clear up the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, with Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea -- in no particular order -- getting the nods.

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Recent acquisition Dan Straily threw four innings in a Minor League game Wednesday and has only made one start this spring. He wouldn't appear to be stretched out enough to begin the season as a starter. Brandon Morrow, meanwhile, will not be ready for the start of the season, as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery.

"It's an evaluation period all the way up until the end," Green said. "These are very difficult decisions. If those things were clear, we'd just jump right in and make a decision, but these are tough decisions. These guys have done a good job."

Pomeranz strands three in 5th

As for the bullpen, the club is open to carrying eight relievers but is leaning heavily toward seven.

Four of those spots -- Fernando Rodney, Brandon Maurer, Matt Thornton and Carlos Villanueva -- are locked up. Straily is out of options, meaning he has to make the roster or be subjected to waivers. And Kevin Quackenbush would appear to have an inside track to one of the remaining spots.

When asked where Quackebush stands, Green said simply, "I have an anticipation that he's going to be a big part of what we do this year."

Quackenbush, who has a Minor League option remaining, has allowed two earned runs on five hits in six innings this spring.

Injury update

Left fielder Jabari Blash was removed early from Tuesday's game because of a hamstring issue, but Green said Wednesday that the injury was simply a cramp and nothing more serious.

Blash, who is fighting for one of the club's three available bench spots, likely got the cramp as the result of dehydration from the weekend trip to Mexico City -- which sits approximately 7,500 feet above sea level.

Blash's three-run homer

Meanwhile, utility man Alexi Amarista could open the season on the disabled list with what the Padres are calling a jammed left shoulder. Amarista was also battling for one of those final bench spots, but Green said his chances of returning for Opening Day are "possible, but I wouldn't say probable."

Baseball brings iPads to the dugout

Major League Baseball will permit the use of iPad pros in dugouts this season, allowing teams to use scouting video and charts on the devices during games.

Green said the Padres will incorporate the iPads, but they will not discard their binders full of information until they feel fully comfortable in operating the technology.

"Supposedly there's been a lot of progress made in making that much more user-friendly," Green said. "Hopefully the technology helps us."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.