San Diego Padres’ right-hander Luis Perdomo started against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 31, delivering a performance that was everything short of desirable.
Perdomo pitched only four innings. He struck out seven hitters over those four innings, but that bright spot was overshadowed by five runs allowed on seven hits and four walks. He threw 96 pitches.
Some time after the game, Cassavell, who covers the Padres for MLB.com, released an article that detailed the team’s frustrations with Perdomo. In his article, Cassavell explains that leading up to the season, the Padres perceived this to be an important year in Perdomo’s development.
Perdomo has been with the Padres since December 2015.
He was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, and immediately traded to San Diego. He has been in the majors since 2016.
Cassavell said that Perdomo could potentially lose his spot in the starting rotation. Even worse, he could lose his roster spot. Perdomo will turn 25 on May 9. Before being traded to the Padres, he never pitched higher than Class A Advanced in the Cardinals’ system.
If Perdomo is removed from the starting rotation, a few candidates could step in and immediately fill that spot.
One of those candidates is Robbie Erlin. He made his first appearance in nearly two years on March 31. Erlin pitched three-and-two-thirds innings against the Brewers. He allowed two runs on three hits, but retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced.
Erlin was a rotation candidate during Spring Training, and was sent to the bullpen before Opening Day. It’s possible he doesn’t remain in the bullpen.
Another candidate is Joey Lucchesi who made his MLB debut on March 30. He gave up three runs over four and two-thirds innings pitched in a no-decision. The San Diego bullpen couldn’t deliver, as Brad Hand gave up a three-run blast to Ryan Braun in the ninth inning giving Milwaukee the 8-6 win.
“It’s time to go,” Andy Green said on three different occasions about Luis Perdomo, indicating some frustration that Perdomo still hasn’t taken the next step.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 1, 2018
Lucchesi was slated to begin the season at Triple-A El Paso. He was kept with the Padres after Dinelson Lamet was diagnosed with an elbow injury. Lamet is not expected to rejoin the Padres until May. When he returns, there could be a chance that Lucchesi stays in the starting rotation.
Another pitcher who could move from the bullpen to take Perdomo’s spot in the rotation is Jordan Lyles. The 27-year-old right hander joined the Padres last August after being released by Colorado. The Padres signed him to a one-year contract, with an option for 2019 this offseason.
Joey Lucchesi set aside his rough start and some baserunning misadventures in a solid debut.
“Now that I got that out of the way, I feel like I can build off it and just be myself.” https://t.co/cbNYbcnpdq
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) March 31, 2018
Lyles is in his eighth MLB season. He spent three seasons with the Houston Astros before going to Colorado. He spent three years with the Rockies, and was released during his fourth season with the club. He was another rotation candidate for the Padres during Spring Training before being assigned to the bullpen.
Tyson Ross was in serious contention to win a rotation spot in Spring Training. The Padres surprised by leaving Ross off the Opening Day roster. He will begin the season at Triple A-El Paso, instead. Perdomo’s next start is likely on April 6 at Houston. If he has a bad outing, it might be safe to assume it could be his last in the majors for a while.