MacKenzie Gore to start Friday’s Spring Training opener for Padres

Padres MacKenzie Gore

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Jorge Salgado

Former top 10 prospect MacKenzie Gore is set to kick off Spring Training games for the Padres on Friday.

The Padres will finally begin Spring Training games this Friday, March 18. When the Padres take the field against the Seattle Mariners at 1:10 pm PT, lefty prospect MacKenzie Gore will take the mound first.

He is reportedly scheduled for two innings.

In 2020, Gore was listed as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball. After some pesky injuries and a breakdown in mechanics led to a lackluster 5.85 ERA in six starts in Triple-A last year, the list of doubters began to grow. He bounced around from High-A and Double-A along with Triple-A El Paso. Overall, in 12 starts, he posted a 3.93 ERA last season. The biggest concerns were his lack of consistent control and decrease in velocity. In a start in early May of last year in Tacoma, Gore was hovering around 94 mph.

The Padres are looking for him to find the form he was in when he posted a 1.02 ERA in 15 starts for Lake Elsinore in 2019.

Early in camp this spring, those concerns look to be put to rest.

If Gore is truly flirting with 99 mph velocity now, that is a breakthrough, especially if it’s with accuracy. That kind of development can lead to him becoming a top-tier prospect again. With how 2021 went with the Padres’ pitching staff breaking down over the course of the long season, the Friars may need to count on Gore at some point. According to MLB Pipeline, Gore went from the No.3 overall prospect to No. 55 this year. He has a chance on Friday to establish some positive momentum and get back to being compared to Clayton Kershaw and other dominant lefties.

Perhaps we are already seeing the hire of new pitching coach Ruben Niebla pay dividends.

Padres fans will get their first look at the 2022, perhaps the new-and-improved version of Gore on Friday afternoon.

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Nick Lee
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.

2 thoughts on “MacKenzie Gore to start Friday’s Spring Training opener for Padres

  1. What Gore will become under Ruben Niebla could be amazing….he’s always had the skills and the arm…it was a matter of consistency with his mechanics… Niebla will fix that…Gore has been in the organization for 5 years… its time to go to the show, and prove it…Can you imagine what the starting staff could look like with Gore, Martinez, and Paddock all vying for the 5th spot in the rotation…it’s going to be one of the few ways the pads can get past the evil-blue….

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