Jed Hoyer had a plan. As general manager of the San Diego Padres, he was going to win with a dominant starting pitching staff. His goal was to acquire as many young, talented starting pitchers as possible and hope that five of them stayed healthy and dominant while moving up each level until reaching the major leagues. It almost worked.
When Hoyer left the Padres to become general manager of the Chicago Cubs, he left new GM Josh Byrnes with the seeds for a young rotation that could carry the Padres to their first World Series appearance since 1998. He then sent another prized arm, that of Andrew Cashner, to the Padres in exchange for first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Here’s what the San Diego Padres rotation would look like heading into 2013, if they had some better luck with injuries:
Cory Luebke (28 years old)
Casey Kelly (23 years old)
Joe Wieland (23 years old)
Andrew Cashner (26 years old)
Edinson Volquez (29 years old)
Not bad, huh?
That’s not even including Anthony Bass, who pitched well as a starter early in 2012 before injuring his shoulder and getting sent back to the bullpen, or Robbie Erlin, who was thought to be better than Wieland when both were acquired in a trade . I also left out Tyson Ross, a 25-year-old starter who was claimed off waivers in the offseason and has pitched well enough in spring training to win the team’s No. 5 starter spot. Clayton Richard and Tim Stauffer, too, had success as starters before facing injury setbacks.