NEW YORK -- There's any number of ways to build a bullpen, but Padres manager Bud Black has opted to carry two long relievers on the roster to begin the season.
"It's nice to have that length," Black said. "There are times throughout the course of the year when you want that. We felt, at this point, it was good to have both of those guys on the roster."
Black was talking about right-handers Andrew Cashner and Anthony Bass. Both were in the running for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, a job that ultimately went to righty Tyson Ross.
Cashner was behind the rest of the pitchers in camp in February coming off his recovery from surgery on his right thumb after suffering a lacerated tendon in December. But he quickly made up ground to get in position to make a run at the fifth-starter spot.
The Padres envision Cashner as a starter, and they could option him to the Minor Leagues during the season to get stretched out -- much like they did a year ago -- but for now, they like him in the bullpen.
"There are times when if you have a big enough lead and you only have to use two pitchers. Or, if there is an extra-inning game, you have length on the back end [of the bullpen]," Black said.
Black said at this point, "Cashner could easily throw four innings and Bass could easily throw three."