The San Diego Padres were the biggest movers in the league at the 2020 deadline, and it’s certain that general manager A.J. Preller will make moves in the next two weeks as the deadline approaches.
The Padres have issues on their pitching staff, with Yu Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, and Ryan Weathers both on the injured list. Blake Snell and Chris Paddack have struggled this season, while Joe Musgrove has been rocked in his last three starts.
As the Padres search for pitching options, Zach Davies, who played for the Padres in the 2020 season, becomes more and more appealing.
Davies isn’t gonna change the team drastically, he’s not an ace, and he’d be an end of the rotation starter for the Padres. However, he’d be a cheap option. He’s on a one-year deal and having an average season. His Cubs are clearly sellers at the deadline. Davies hasn’t had any injury troubles in his career, something that the Padres absolutely need out of their pitching staff. Davies was the only top pitcher that stayed healthy for the Padres in 2020, with both Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet getting injured just before the Padres playoff push.
After a career-best season in the shortened 2020 season, Davies has regressed to his career average numbers in 2021, including a career-worst WHIP.
He still utilizes the 90 mile per hour fastball as well as a changeup that he tries to keep down in the zone. Davies started both game two in the National League Wild Card and game two in the National League Division Series for the Padres. He excelled throughout most of the 2020 season, with a career-low ERA of 2.73, and he struck out 22.8% of the batters he faced, which was five percent better than he’d ever done before.
Worryingly for Davies, he allowed more home runs per at-bat than ever before, and his fielding independent pitching (FIP) suggested that fortune had shined on Davies in the shorter season. FIP eliminates the role that fielders play, as well as using the three true outcomes to estimate a pitcher’s expected ERA. His FIP was 3.88, which was one of the best of his career, but suggested that he wasn’t going to be a sub-three ERA pitcher.
While Davies’ ERA is a disappointing 4.37 this season, his ERA has been a solid 2.90 ERA since May 2. Davies threw the first six innings of a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 24, and he had six and two-thirds innings of two-hit baseball against the Cardinals, one start after spinning six innings of one-hit, scoreless ball against the Padres.
Davies certainly isn’t the biggest prize at the deadline, but he’s a solid rental, and the Padres wouldn’t have to give up much more than a low-level prospect. The Cubs have already shipped Joc Pederson away for a single A first baseman, which confirmed the theory that they would be sellers at this year’s deadline.