The 2016 San Diego Padres are quickly turning into a train wreck. The team lost its ace pitcher on opening day due to a shoulder injury. Tyson Ross has only began to throw recently and is still not due to return to the staff for another month or so.
James Shields is the epitome of an innings eater in your rotation, but he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox for two prospects in a cost-cutting move. The Padres are paying more than half of his remaining salary, but it was obvious the two sides needed to move on. Ron Fowler expedited Shields’ departure from the team with his comments regarding the pitcher. A move had to be made.
With Shields and Ross unavailable to eat innings and Andrew Cashner currently disabled for the second time this year, the team needs someone to step up and pitch. Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Colin Rea have all never thrown more than 139 innings per season in their professional careers. Rea did that in 2014 and Friedrich pitched 133 innings in 2011. Both pitchers will be eased into the 180 innings pitched level, especially Rea whom has already been rested once this season in order to limit his appearances.
Pomeranz looks to be the staff ace at the moment but he has only thrown over 100 innings once in his pro career. He did that in 2011, his rookie year, when he pitched a total of 101 innings. That’s it. He has never been stretched out that far. Pomeranz is 27 and it will be very interesting to see; A) if he can keep up the work load and B) will the Padres allow him to at risk of injury. No matter how you look at it. The Padres need starting pitchers and it made perfect sense that the team picked up Edwin Jackson on Thursday.
The veteran pitcher is cheap as far as cost. The Chicago Cubs will pay his whole salary of $12.92 million dollars this 2016 season. Jackson wore out his welcome in Chicago after signing a free agent contract there. Most recently he threw out of the bullpen for the Marlins to start the 2016 season. He was 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in eight appearances and 10 games for the fish. They released him on June 2.
He hasn’t thrown well in the rotation recently so that is a slight concern. The last time he started consistently was the 2014 season when he was 6-15 in 27 starts and 140 innings pitched while recording a 6.33 ERA. Jackson was 4-3 with a 3.07 ERA in 55 games for the Cubs and Braves last year. All of it out of the bullpen. The Padres need help in the rotation, but it is possible Jackson pitches in long relief for the team.
The Padres have Erik Johnson whom they acquired from the Sox for Shields. He will likely be given every opportunity to start. The right hander has been groomed for major league success. He has performed at every level but now it is time to execute at the highest of the professional baseball levels. Of the whole Padres rotation, baring injury, he could be the one to count on for a start every five days. Edwin Jackson could factor in the rotation eventually too.
Expect the Padres to stretch Edwin Jackson out a bit in El Paso before bringing him to Petco Park. He is due for free agency after the year and if he wishes to continue his pro career, the man will need to have a decent 2016 season. With Darren Balsley’s tutelage he could very well find some consistency. The veteran right hander has always had excellent stuff, but harnessing it has been the issue. Edwin Jackson could be a decent pickup for the team. Expect the club to pick up another veteran or two, especially if they trade Cashner or Pomeranz on or around the deadline.