Jered Weaver has spent the last 11 years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, during which he has posted an impressive 150-93 win-loss record, with a 3.55 ERA.
However in his last six seasons, Weaver has watched his ERA consecutively grow each season from a 2.41 to a 5.06.
Last year, Weaver put up his career-worst in almost every category. His ERA jumped from a 4.64 to the 5.06 previously mentioned. He gave up a career-high 37 home runs, a career-high in runs and earned runs allowed (106, 100), and his strikeout number was the second lowest in his career (103, struck out 90 in ’15).
With his career seemingly winding down, the Angels decided to move on from him. This is how he ended up here in San Diego. The Padres desperately needed starting pitching and Weaver desperately wanted to be a starter. It was a match made by the baseball gods.
Shortly after signing with the Padres, Andy Green, and Weaver himself, assured fans that Weaver still had “a lot left in the tank” and “a lot to prove.” Seriously. Weaver mentioned it about six or seven times after signing with the team. Whether he was trying to convince himself or the fans doesn’t matter at this point. All that matters is the Padres gave Weaver $3 million for 2017, and there’s no way they let him go, so we will see him get to start some games in the good ole’ Padre blue we all know and love.
Last season, Weaver was throwing mid-80s fastballs, which is on par with some lower level high school prospects. BUT, his ability to stay healthy and still somewhat successfully get guys out allowed him to eat up 178 innings with a 5.06 ERA. Last season the Padres only had three guys pitch in triple digits: Luis Perdomo (146.2), Drew Pomeranz (102.0), and Christian Friedrich (129.1). So adding Weaver to the team will be huge in terms of innings being eaten up.
This spring, Jered Weaver has gotten off to a rough start. Right now, he is 1-1 with a 10.13 ERA in three games started. In his 5.1 innings pitched, Weaver has given up 11 hits and six earned runs, while striking out six and walking just two. Weaver was absolutely rocked in his most recent outing, giving up four runs and hitting two batters in just 0.2 innings pitched. He couldn’t even get through one inning, and we’re just days away from the regular season. This is what has some Padre fans worried.
According to A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com, Jered Weaver is “dealing with a little dead arm.” Apparently, it’s nothing out of the ordinary for him, as it usually happens every spring and he’s just not 100% ready yet. Weaver also said that the “spring dead arm” lingers around for a couple of weeks before subsiding and everything is back to normal. The man who averaged a mid-80s fastball last season is looking like he is more than a couple of weeks away from being ready for a season that starts in a little over seven days. If the Padres can fit him in at the bottom of the rotation, then all could be looking well by the time his first start comes around.
More important than how Jered Weaver is doing in spring, is what he brings to the table for the Padres. He is coming in with tons of experience. In his 11 seasons Weaver has locked up 150 wins, 2025.0 total innings pitched, and 1,598 strikeouts. He knows the ins and outs of the game more than anyone who will be on the Padres’ pitching staff next season, so having him around to mentor the young guys is going to be crucial. Young guys like Luis Perdomo, Jarred Cosart, and Colin Rea could pick up a lot from a guy like Weaver, especially if they ever find themselves in a slump.
So if you’re ever wondering why the Padres keep putting a 34-year-old, who is at the end of his career, back on the mound, just keep two things in mind. One, Weaver can eat innings like no one else currently on the Padres, nor like anyone who could even possibly be available to the Padres. And two, sometimes having a guy as gifted, experienced, and as humbled as Weaver, can help out a lot behind the scenes for a young, inexperienced team like the Friars.