Cal Quantrill is very much in line to compete for a San Diego Padres’ rotation spot in 2020.
There were times last season when Cal Quantrill looked like a bonafide ace for the San Diego Padres.
The former first-round pick had an up and down 2019 season, but for a stretch in the summer, he was arguably the Padres’ best starting pitcher. Yes, his season ended with an ERA above 5.00, but the Stanford graduate was certainly productive in his rookie campaign.
Currently, the Padres have a rotation of Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Garrett Richards, Zach Davies, and Joey Lucchesi set on paper. These five men are reportedly going to be given priority to earn the nod coming out of Peoria in late March. But anything can happen.
Adrian Morejon, Michel Baez, Ronald Bolanos, and even MacKenzie Gore will factor to some degree. Then there is the case for a pitcher who impressed some last season in his first taste of major league action. Cal Quantrill turned the corner last year with his growth and became very relevant to the Padres.
From July 14 through Aug. 20, Quantrill made seven starts for the Friars, only allowing eight earned runs in total. The Canadian right-hander blossomed right before the Padres’ eyes, striking out 34 batters in that 40.1 innings pitched stretch. Opposing hitters batted .200 off the pitcher’s four-seam fastball and hit .229 off his sinking fastball in this span. His secondary pitches were what was dominant as hitters only managed a .053 average on his changeup and a .161 average on the Canadian’s hard, biting slider. He proceeded to get plenty of swings and misses on his offspeed pitches, which dictates that he will have the same success in the coming years.
His 3.32 ERA, at the time of this run, looked to be very respectful, but three straight miserable games of allowing eight earned runs (24 in total) ballooned his ERA up to 5.12 in late August. The pitcher took his lumps like a professional and made no excuses for his performances, proclaiming that he needs to be better. His fastball command began to falter as Quantrill began missing over the plate. For a young pitcher, streaks of wildness like this are to be expected.
The stuff is there, though. Quantrill may not be a top of the order, dominant pitcher, but the right-hander proved that he could undoubtedly be serviceable at the major league level.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 25, 2019
The Padres 2020 season will begin with many uncertainties. The future of Cal Quantrill might be one of the biggest questions as the team heads to Peoria next month. If you take away his three bad outings at the end of the season, he would very-much be entrenched in discussions regarding the 2020 rotation. Keep an eye on Quantrill this spring. If he shows even more growth, he could be the first of several young pitchers that will force the hands of the Padres in the future. MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, and company are coming.