Padres Editorial: Be Patient With Perdomo

Credit: USA Today Sports

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Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

In recent weeks, especially since the San Diego Padres have begun their slide into the N.L. West cellar, there seems to be an odd impatience with Luis Perdomo. The just-turned 23-year-old Perdomo, a Padres rule-5 drafted player, had never pitched above high-A ball before this season. If he were to be taken off of the big league roster, he would have to be offered back to his former team via rule-5 rules. Perdomo has struggled (as expected) so far this season. He has an ERA over 10 and has given up a whopping 47 hits in 26 innings pitched.

A popular opinion seems to be that the Padres are ruining Perdomo’s long-term confidence by placing him in big league games. Others are giving up on the Luis Perdomo experiment altogether, saying that after two months this 23-year old “will not work.”

To those who are already wanting to give up on Perdomo: Relax.

First of all, the Padres are in an obvious rebuilding stage. The Padres minor league system, especially in AA and AAA, is abysmally low on pitching talent. The Padres do not have many organizational options like Luis Perdomo in the upper minors. Because of this, there is absolutely no harm in keeping Perdomo to mop up some innings on the MLB roster for the entire season. The ideal scenario is to get Perdomo through 2016 with MLB experience, then send him down to the minors next year to log innings and gain experience either as a starter or a reliever. Supporting a Padres rebuilding effort and wanting to get rid of a talent like Perdomo after only 26 MLB innings just does not make any sense whatsoever.

Talent-wise, Perdomo fits the bill as a big league pitcher. Once a young outfielder in the Dominican Republic (before MLB scouts recommended he should try pitching out), he has gotten up to 97 MPH with his fastball this season and couples that with a breaking ball and a changeup. His stuff is full of movement. In May of 2015, Perdomo was named the Cardinals minor league pitcher of the month. In that month, Perdomo flashed brilliance, showcasing a 1.42 ERA, had 33 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings, and held opponents to a .230 batting average. He was named to the Futures Game in that year as well.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Besides those two accomplishments, Perdomo has yet to have a full season of success. In the Cardinals organization, Perdomo had the reputation of being more of a thrower than a pitcher. Despite this, he was highly regarded within the Cardinals circles. He still struggles with throwing instead of pitching, but is getting better. If anyone has, I would recommend watching his 9th inning against the D-Backs on May 27th. It is the perfect example of Perdomo’s inconsistency but flash of talent.

Perdomo struck out the side with nasty stuff, including a 97 MPH heater and a deadly changeup. However, with two outs, he gave up a long HR and a walk in succession. Drafted out of the Dominican Republic at age 17, he has yet to find consistency and that is quite obvious throughout his first two months as a big leaguer. However, his stuff has improved each year since he made his American pro ball debut in 2012. Due to his youth (23 years of age), Perdomo deserves the benefit of the doubt that he can end up figuring it all out.

As far as Luis Perdomo’s performance for the rest of the 2016 season, I would expect his statistical performance to improve throughout the season.  Although Perdomo has a 10.04 ERA, his FIP is 5.70. Traditionally known as a ground-ball pitcher, his 17.4 HR/FB% (home run to fly ball ratio) should lower as the campaign goes on.

Finally, Perdomo has been BABIP’d to the tune of a .439 average through the first two months of 2016, and that should definitely lower by a substantial amount. I would not expect Perdomo to shut down MLB batters every time he registers an appearance, per say, but he should have a few performances that show his potential as a big league pitcher.

It is easy to get frustrated in the present, especially with the lack of talent on this team. However, placing blame and heavy criticism on a talented 23-year-old should not be warranted. Let’s let him tip-toe through 2016, see if he develops, and go from there.

So please, wait Perdomo out. He might be a hidden gem that will be a big component in the future of this organization.

1 thought on “Padres Editorial: Be Patient With Perdomo

  1. Finally, someone opens their eyes. This kid has a ton of potential, but injuries have kept him from moving up and capitalizing on any sustained success in the past. As a person who has watched his minor league games, I say Padres fans be patient, you have stolen one from the Cardinals. He just needs the right pitching coach to get him to slow down and pitch, mix up his fastballs and locations and he will be a major league pitcher.

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