There is no doubt that the San Diego Padres need some help in the rotation for the 2019 season. With many rookies and second-year players on the roster, the Padres certainly have a youthful starting staff presently. Let’s take a look.
The San Diego Padres are reportedly looking around the league for veteran starting pitchers.
With so much youth in the rotation presently, the team desperately needs innings-eaters for the 2019 season. Names like Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Corey Kluber have already been linked to the Padres. But nothing has happened as of yet.
In reality, acquiring names like that is not an easy task, even if you have a top-rated farm system. The Padres might just have to go into camp with their present group. Sure, there may be a veteran or two brought on the team in the coming weeks, but the majority of the starting pitching this year could come from the players highlighted below.
The rebuilding Padres have constructed a fruitful roster. Eric Lauer, Jacob Nix, Joey Lucchesi, Walker Lockett, and Brett Kennedy all made their major league debuts last season in the rotation. This group of hurlers was productive, but they are not considered the top pitchers within the system. We have yet to see those men pitch at Petco Park.
Sure, there are no givens when it comes to prospects and their future. You never quite know what you have until they basically reach the major league level. But with numerous young pitchers in the works, chances are that the Padres will find some really good hurlers among them. It will take time for the cream to rise, but 2019 should be a telling year for the future of this franchise.
Here is a look at the Padres present rotation. A lot of youth and a lot of uncertainty within this group.
Presently, the man with the churve is arguably the staff ace. He had a very consistent rookie season where he looked comfortable the entire season. He will have growing pains as he has yet to really be knocked around at the major league level. How will Lucchesi respond to adversity, and will he rebound? He also needs to add a third pitch to his repertoire to be fully effective.
The Padres expect more from Lauer, who flashed some real positive signs in 2018. With some minor adjustments, he could emerge as a valuable innings eater for the team. He did struggle in 2018 from time to time, and those struggles should benefit him in the long run. Lauer should put up better numbers in 2019 as he makes adjustments to his approach. Lauer is also working on a change that could really help in 2019.
It has yet to be determined if he will start or continue to relieve in 2019. He has built up leg strength this winter and could be in store for a breakout in 2019 no matter where the Padres decide to use him. Strahm gives the Padres three potential left-handed pitchers in the rotation. He could emerge in time as the staff ace if everything breaks correctly.
Hernia surgery should give Nix back the fastball which eluded him from time to time last year. He still has a plus curve, and used that to keep hitters off balance last year at the major league level. Nix is still considered a rookie, but he has some vital major league experience that could guide him in 2019. He has a decent chance at a rotation spot, but will need to look good in the spring.
If not for emergence at the end of the season, Mitchell may have been DFA’d this winter. He has the stuff for success, but continues to get hit hard at the major league level. If he struggles, the team could turn him into a reliever. He will probably make the team in the spring. His role has yet to be determined.
Kennedy will need an excellent spring to make the Padres’ rotation. He has average stuff and will soon be surrounded by more talented players at Triple-A. Look for the Padres to potentially deal him as there just are not enough roster spots to go around. The right-handed pitcher will probably start in the minors.
The right-hander from the Dominican Republic is not supposed to be ready til midway through the season. He could factor for the team eventually, but 2020 is probably a better goal for Lamet to be a serious factor in the rotation. He has great stuff when he is on. Hopefully, the slider returns when Lamet is healthy.
Expect Quantrill to have a productive 2019 as he is one year further away from his Tommy John surgery in 2016. His velocity ticked up late in the year and he was spinning the ball much better as well. His mechanics are pretty clean and he has the pedigree for success. He will likely begin in Triple-A, but should make his debut at some point in 2019.
This could be the ace the Padres have been looking for. He has a mid 90’s fastball that he spots on both sides of the plate well. His out pitch is a devastating changeup that might be one of the best in baseball. Paddack is a hard worker and has all the intangibles to be very special. He will pitch at Petco Park in 2019. That is a given. Once he does, he should remain at the major league level for a long time.
The third of the trio of minor leaguers to make their debut in the 2019 rotation should be Logan Allen. The left-handed pitcher has a developing fastball with multiple offspeed pitches. His personal story is a thing of beauty and fans will fall in love with him as a person. His ceiling is that of a solid #2 or #3 pitcher at the major league level. Perhaps more.