PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres will not set their roster for Opening Day until the weekend, though it seems the team has a very good idea who will comprise the 25-man roster.
It appears that right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross will be the fifth starter in the rotation and will pitch April 6 against the Rockies -- the first time the Padres will need their fifth starter.
Another right-hander, Andrew Cashner, who threw 72 pitches in a game Tuesday, will also make the team. The organization still views Cashner as a starting pitcher, although it appears as if he will at least initially be used as a reliever.
Manager Bud Black previously announced the first four starters in his rotation -- Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, Eric Stults and Jason Marquis. Wednesday in his last warm-up before his Opening Day start April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field, Volquez allowed one run in five-plus innings with six walks against the Reds.
Ross has a 2.57 ERA over 21 innings this spring, the most on the staff. He recently had a streak of 15 1/3 scoreless innings. Cashner had a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings.
Left fielder Carlos Quentin, who has been nursing a sore right knee, played seven innings in the outfield Wednesday and had two hits. It appears as if he will begin the season on the active roster and will not need a stint on the disabled list.
That means outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks, who had three hits Wednesday to raise his average to .365 this spring, will start the season with Triple-A Tucson so that he can play every day.
Black indicated after the game Wednesday that the team would most likely finalize its Opening Day roster during a two-game exhibition series in San Antonio this weekend. Games are set for Friday and Saturday.