Padres Editorial: Can Luis Perdomo Make the Padres Opening Day Rotation?

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Barring another major trade, the front of the Padres 2016 rotation will include James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner. Beyond those three, it is really anybody’s guess. In terms of options, the Padres have no shortage of those, including Robbie Erlin, Colin Rea, Brandon Morrow, Drew Pomeranz, Odrisamer Despaigne, Buddy Baumann and even possibly Brandon Maurer. One name not mentioned, who perhaps is the most interesting option of all, is recent trade pick up and Rule 5 draftee, Luis Perdomo.

Before we look into the possibility of Perdomo earning a spot in the Padres rotation, we first must look at where he has come from and what he has done. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010 at the age of 17, Perdomo had spent the first five years of his professional career with the Cardinals prior to being picked in the Rule 5 draft in December by the Colorado  Rockies and traded to the San Diego Padres for cash considerations.

For a good approximation of Perdomo’s past performance, the following table displays his performance from both 2014 and 2015.


Single A  IP  K/9 — BB/9  ERA — FIP
 57.0  6.47 — 3.32  5.05 — 4.27
Single A+  IP  K/9 — BB/9  ERA — FIP
 3.0  9.00 — 0.00  0.00 — 1.39


Single A  IP  K/9 — BB/9  ERA — FIP
 100.1  8.97 — 2.78  3.68 — 3.39
Single A+  IP  K/9 — BB/9  ERA — FIP
 26.1  6.15 — 2.05  5.13 — 2.98

While these numbers obviously aren’t eye-popping by any stretch, Perdomo has shown some solid progression over the last two seasons. Despite a drop in his K/9 and rise in his ERA after his promotion to High A in 2015, Perdomo also saw a significant drop in his BB/9 as well as his FIP. The FIP may be the most important indicator that Perdomo’s performance is even better than his ERA shows at first glance.

In terms of his makeup and profile, Perdomo has a good build at 6’2’’ 160 pounds, and he should be able to add more size and strength as he matures further. Despite his struggles in his first full season of A ball in 2014, after spending the first three years of his professional career in Rookie ball, Perdomo has been able to make adjustments and has improved quite a bit from 2014 to 2015. Perdomo has credited the better performance to a raised arm slot, which has allowed him to throw all three of his pitches from the same angle, and also has allowed him to better maintain his command of all three pitches. At current, Perdomo sits in the low to mid 90s with his fastball, but can reach as high as 97 mph. He has an nasty slider that comes in as high as 86 mph, one he displayed prominently in last year’s All-Star Futures Game, and also has a good feel for his changeup.

Despite the good indicators of present and future success, the biggest question mark accompanying Perdomo is whether he can actually be a major league pitcher at present. This presents an issue for the Padres, given his rule 5 status, meaning the Padres have no choice but to keep him on a big league roster next season if they want to keep him in the organization. At only 22 years old, Perdomo is still young, and is viewed by many as still being quite a raw talent. With that being said, he will be given every chance to make the Padres roster out of Spring training and, more importantly, will be given every chance to be a member of the starting rotation.

There aren’t much in the way of comps for a player jumping from High A ball to the Majors in one offseason, given that it would be such a rare occurrence. However, that doesn’t mean that Perdomo cannot make the jump. While it appears logical that the Padres would want to just use Perdomo in the bullpen, at least in the short term given his rule 5 status, it seems that they are willing to give him every chance to succeed in the rotation at the big league level. It may be a risky proposition but, one way or another, Luis Perdomo will make an impact on the 2016 Padres.

1 thought on “Padres Editorial: Can Luis Perdomo Make the Padres Opening Day Rotation?

  1. I don’t know if Luis Perdomo will be in the Padres 2016 rotation. However, if Perdomo does not make the opening day roster, I suspect Mr. Preller will try to arrange to keep him in the organization rather than return him to STL.

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