Taking a look at San Diego Padres’ right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet.
In 2020, only two National League pitchers finished the season with a better ERA than Dinelson Lamet’s 2.04. Lamet’s new teammate Yu Darvish happened to be one of them as he finished second last season with a 2.01 ERA.
Last year was Lamet’s coming out party. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting as he piled up some impressive stats along the way. To go along with his impressive ERA, Lamet finished with a 0.85 WHIP, 12.1 K/9, and 0.65 HR/9. Unfortunately for Lamet and the rest of the San Diego Padres, he could not pitch for the Friars in the postseason, which was the club’s first appearance in 14 years.
In the last week of the season, Lamet was removed during the fourth inning of his start against the San Francisco Giants due to right bicep tightness. His injury was a huge blow for the Friars as they struggled with starting pitching during their playoff run and had to turn to the bullpen to start a couple of games. Even though 2020 did not end the way Lamet or the Padres wanted, you can expect them to build upon last year’s success.
Lamet is only 28 years old. He is in the middle of his prime. He has tremendous upside and has a 35 percent strikeout rate. He has shown over the years that he is getting better every year, so we can expect him to have the same success that he had last year. He has great stuff, which is headlined by his slider; arguably the best in baseball. He relies on three pitches, his slider, fastball, and sinker. He uses his slider the most, at about 53 percent. Given that he is in such a completive rotation, Lamet has a chance to take his game to the next level.
Lamet has had some injury issues in his career. He is three years removed from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the entire 2018 season. Last season, we saw an injury to his right bicep/elbow resulting in him missing the playoffs. He also had some trouble going deep into games. Last year Lamet pitched 69 innings in 12 starts. There could be some concern whether Lamet can be a starter who can throw 200-plus innings a year and stay healthy doing it.
Lamet will probably be the number three starter for the Padres when healthy. He will be joining perhaps the best rotation in baseball, led by Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. I would expect him to possibly be on an innings limit, given his recent history. If Lamet is ready to go for the 2021 season, expect the Padres to be at the top of the National League in pitching.
Lamet has shown that he can be a top pitcher in this league for years to come. You can expect him to have great success with his stuff and his poise, especially pitching in a pitcher-friendly ballpark like Petco. If Lamet can stay healthy for a full season, there is no doubt we will see him in late October.