Luis Perdomo is a name San Diego Padres fans everywhere will soon (if they haven’t already) be very familiar with. The 23-year-old right handed pitcher, was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in November of 2010. He made his debut for the Cardinals in their Dominican Summer League.
He pitched his way up to the Class-A Peoria Chiefs in 2015 and was eventually selected to pitch in that years Futures All-Star Game. Perdomo threw 0.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and fanned one for the World team. That December, Perdomo was drafted in the rule-5 draft by the Colorado Rockies then traded to the Padres for a player to be named later, or cash considerations.
Before his debut for the Padres on Opening Day, Perdomo had not pitched above the Class-A level. His inexperience showed that game. Coming into the 7th inning the Padres trailed the Dodgers 8-0. Perdomo entered the game and walked two batters, while giving up six runs and striking out two in just a one inning. A rough start for a young kid who did not appear ready for big league baseball.
He made his next appearance just two days later against the Dodgers again, where he managed to only allow one run. He struck out one, and didn’t walk anyone in an inning of work. In his next four games Perdomo showed his ability to grow as he didn’t allow a run in four innings pitched, dropping his ERA from 54.00 on Opening Day to 10.50. He has his cage rattled a couple more times in the month of April allowing three runs in two separate appearances. One was against the team who originally signed him and the other against the San Francisco Giants.
Throughout the rest of the month of April and May he managed to give up 29 earned runs over 26 innings pitched. However the high amount of runs earned comes from his increasing aggressiveness on the mound. He upped his number of strike outs from six in the month of April to 15 in the month of May. The numbers are far from great, but they do show improvement in a young Rule-5 pick who lacked experience.
He was given his first chance to move from a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher in Milwaukee. He struck out four batters in two innings while only managing to give up two runs. An impressive first start for a young pitcher who had been struggling with his command.
I was in attendance to see his next appearance which came against the Dodgers in San Diego. Perdomo came in and pitched four scoreless innings, before allowing four in the 17th which gave him his first loss on the season. Up until this point, Perdomo had only pitched more than one inning four times and more than two innings once, so it’s fair to say by his fifth inning of relief he was feeling gassed.
Perdomo started becoming a regular starter in the month of June, where he started in four out of his five appearances. The one game he didn’t start, Perdomo came in for Andrew Cashner who exited the game with an injury after just one out in the first inning. During those five appearances, Perdomo pitched 27 innings and gave up 22 runs, with 21 of those being earned runs. He did however manage to only walk eight batters, while fanning an impressive 27. His numbers were getting better.
In June, Perdomo started all five games he appeared in for a career high 29 innings pitched over the month. He lowered his number of earned runs to just 13, striking out 17 and walking just four batter in the entire month. This month was no cake walk either, Perdomo had to face four teams who all have the potential to finish first in their division this year. He got out of the month with a 3-1 record winning tough games on the road in Washington, Arizona, and Toronto. He also stood his ground in L.A. against Dodgers, his only loss of the month, and at home against San Fransisco. He pitched 10.2 total innings against these two offensive powerhouses and only managed to give up five earned runs.
This month, Luis Perdomo has found himself more on the losing side, posting a 1-3 record in his four starts. However, he has only allowed 11 earned runs in his four games and 24.1 innings pitched and struck out 19 while only allowing 10 to walk, three of which were intentional.
Perdomo recently pitched the best game of his short career so far. Against the Diamondbacks this past Sunday, Luis Perdomo threw 96 pitches over 7 innings, allowing five hits and a single unearned run. He also struck out five and allowed no batters to reach base on balls. The Padres went on to win the game 9-1, where Perdomo receive the win and even managed to help himself out with an RBI double in the 5th inning. With that outing Perdomo now holds a record of 6-7 with a 6.24 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 106.2 innings.
Over the course of these five months Andy Green and the Padres saw growth in Luis Perdomo that they didn’t think they would see for years to come. Due to his rule -5 status, Perdomo has to remain on the Padres 25-man roster, or San Diego risks him being sent back to St. Louis, where he was originally signed. In an interview, Green commented on Perdomo’s growth saying, “This is quick. Usually you’re thinking best-case scenario you find a way to get him through the season on your roster….give him low-leverage situations the whole year, then he probably goes back down the Double-A and progresses to Triple-A, and in a couple of years he’s a fixture in your rotation.”
We, as Padre fans, have watched this young timid Class-A pitcher being forced into the big leagues by way of the rule-5 draft, grow into an everyday consistent starting pitcher. Perdomo went from hardly being able to last two innings of relief, to one of the top spots on the starting rotation. He also became one of the most consistent young pitchers in the N.L. in a little less than a four-month span. He has progressed a rate that nobody in the Padres organization had predicted. His new found confidence on the mound and the rate he is progressing shows that he has the potential to be at the top of the Padres rotation for a long time. A great find by A.J. Preller and the Padres staff. They truly did strike gold with this young man.