The Padres' pitching situation has reached critical mass.
If things don't improve soon, there will surely be a meltdown.
Eight of the top 12 starting pitchers on the Padres' spring training roster are on either the major league or minor league disabled list. Two (Cory Luebke and Dustin Moseley) are out for the season following surgery, and no one has any idea when Tim Stauffer might return.
Jeff Suppan has been released. Eric Stults and Jason Marquis have already made starts after being signed since the season opened. Reliever Andrew Cashner will start Saturday and hopes to pitch two innings before turning the game over to Ross Ohlendorf -- another signee who could become the 12th pitcher to start a game for the Padres this season.
How bizarre has it become?
Well, as a reward for starting Saturday, Cashner will pack his bag after the game and head for Double-A San Antonio, where he will make three to four starts to extend his pitch count before he rejoins the Padres near the end of June to become part of the rotation.
Ohlendorf is scheduled to start in the slot while Cashner is in San Antonio. If that fails, the Padres have Kip Wells pitching in San Antonio.
The offense has scored 19 runs over the last four games. But it's been one complete tour of the rotation since a Padres starting pitcher gave up fewer than four runs. The earned run average of the Padres' starters over the last five games is 6.99.
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