With the August 1st trade deadline on the horizon, it is apparent that the Padres are fully committed to shipping off some of their proven, major league talent for younger, minor league prospects. General manager A.J. Preller has publicly stated that he is making everyone available in trade talks.
Even All-Star First Basemen Wil Myers could be a possibility if the deal was overwhelmingly in the Padres’ favor. However, there is just one player that appears to be so coveted by the Padres that one could deem him to be “untouchable.” That one player came into 2016 with very little expectations and has since been thrust into the front end of the starting rotation. That player is Luis Perdomo.
Perdomo, a Rule-5 selection, began 2016 in the Padres bullpen with the hopes of surviving the season to avoid being sent back to his former team: the Cardinals. After a dismal start to the season, Perdomo has had quite a nice turnaround. Now, not only is Perdomo surviving, he’s beginning to thrive at the major league level. It’s very exciting seeing his growth as a pitcher.
At only 23 years old, Perdomo made a huge career leap with the Padres. He had never pitched above Single-A in his brief professional tenure. Thus, being hurled into the Padres main roster was a monumental step-up in competition. During spring training, he competed for a rotation spot, but was ultimately assigned to the bullpen as a long reliever/spot starter.
However, between multiple injuries and trades, Perdomo was called upon for a more prominent role in the starting rotation.
It was not exactly clear what the Padres would get out of a young pitcher with such little professional experience. What they did know was that Perdomo had a live arm with a fastball sitting in the mid-90s and a nasty sinker. It was evident that he was worth the risk, and management was curious to see what he was truly capable of.
While Perdomos’s role for 2016 was in limbo, the right-hander saw his ERA hover around 10 during the early portion of 2016. Some speculated that this was the extent of his potential. There were many fans who demanded that he be sent away. They could not see the potential, but the Padres stayed with this young man. As the season progressed, the flashes of brilliance that he displayed from time to time started to become more consistent.
Over his last seven outings, Perdomo has sported a respectable 4.91 ERA while improving his walk and strikeout rate. His last two outings were especially impressive. He went seven innings vs Washington and 6.2 innings vs Toronto. Perdomo was dominant at times against these two strong lineups whom are both fighting for a post-season bid. Talk about impressive.
It is safe to assume that Myers and Perdomo have the highest chance of remaining Padres for the time being. These two could possibly be who the front office builds around for the next few years as their goal to compete in 2019 approaches. If Perdomo continues to make improvements similar to the ones he has in the last couple months, management may have to seriously consider him as a someone who could be a leader to the number of pitching prospects that are making their way through the minor leagues.
In 2019, Perdomo will only be 26 and should be in a very capable position to be the backbone of the starting staff. Whether that’s as an ace or someone towards the middle of the rotation remains to be seen. Either way, Perdomo has opened eyes across the MLB landscape and is someone who teams will undoubtedly be preparing themselves for. He looks to be a solid fixture in the Padres rotation for years to come.