With the storm clouds moving in quickly on the 2016 season for our beloved San Diego Padres, fans are looking for any gap in the sky that shows sunlight. The team is three games back of the Dodgers and Rockies, and four games under .500 with 148 games to go. The season has just begun, and yet it feels like some of us have already seen enough.
Regardless of what the front office says, or doesn’t, this team is in rebuilding mode. Sure the forecast shows for a bummer of a summer, but maybe there are some rays of sunshine tucked away that can keep us fans watching, and looking towards the future.
Enter Colin Rea, Robbie Erlin, and Drew Pomeranz: The Young Guns (dubbed by me, right now). All three pitchers have shown some flash in the first couple weeks, proving that they deserve to be on the MLB roster. With the Padres’ lineup getting shut out what feels like every other game, the pitching staff is becoming the hot ticket to watch.
Rea (25 years old) did struggle in his first start of the season in Colorado. He only managed to get through 3 ⅔ innings, while walking four batters and giving up five earned runs. However, he bounced back nicely throwing seven innings in his second start at Philadelphia, only walking two batters and allowing one earned run. The start was wasted however, as the Padres lost 2-1. The bats woke up for Colin last night, as he had another solid outing earning his first win of the season against the Pirates and a very good veteran lineup.
After losing out on one of the last rotation spots entering the season, Erlin (25) got the call to join the 25-man roster after Tyson Ross went on the disabled list following his first start. He debuted in a relief role in Rea’s first start. He came in and shut down the Rockies for 3 ⅔ innings, allowing only one hit while earning the decision in the Padres first win of the season. He kept up the momentum in his first start of the season, pitching six innings while only allowing three hits and one run. Another nice start wasted by the team, as the Padres lost 3-0.
Drew Pomeranz (27) is looking like one of the nicer new additions on the team this season. He came to San Diego in a deal in December from the A’s that sent Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski to Oakland. In two starts, Drew has 11.0 IP with a 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, while striking out 15 batters. He is an imposing figure on the mound, standing 6-5 weighing 240 lbs. He has improved and add new pitches to his repertoire since his early seasons in Colorado, helping make become more of a complete pitcher. The Padres will look to benefit from Pomeranz this season and beyond.
All three Young Guns could be a major part of this rotation moving forward after 2016. James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner could all be gone by next season. Shields can opt out of his contract after this year. Tyson Ross’ trade value might reach its peak when this year’s trade deadline comes around. Cashner is a free agent next season if he still wearing a Padres uniform come September, since he is another viable trade candidate this year.
If the Padres hitting woes continue, we could be in for a long season. It is difficult to sit and be patient as a fan, especially since the team hasn’t won or been in the playoffs for a decade. But lets face it: the division is loaded with talent the Padres cannot content with as of yet. Whether you like it or not, we must practice and implement patience in 2016. Hopefully, these young pitchers can spread some sunshine in America’s finest city and give us something to become excited about.