Pitching limitations have crippled Padres in 2019

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With so much youth on the pitching staff, the San Diego Padres have been hamstrung all season by limitations.

Rumors surrounding a starting pitcher and the San Diego Padres, have existed since the beginning of the spring 2019 season. Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Trevor Bauer were all evaluated by the Padres as potential additions, but nothing ever came to fruition via trade. The Padres instead have chosen to stay within their system in regards to the starting staff.

Reinforcements are on the way though as Garrett Richards, Jacob Nix and Pedro Avila are all rehabbing and close to possibly contributing soon. Dinelson Lamet returned from Tommy John surgery and looked very useful in July. There are options for the team, but they aren’t precisely ideal choices. The team will still need to be creative the rest of the way to make it through September. They have the arms to do it, but there will undoubtedly be some creative roster shuffling.

Chris Paddack is close to being shut down.

The Padres have not indicated exactly what his total innings limits is, but Andy Green said recently that they are moving close to that total. The team has to play it safe with all these young arms — especially Paddack, who has a very bright future with the team. The big Texan threw 90 innings in 2018 and is presently a little over 100 in his rookie season. He will probably only make a handful more starts before calling it a season. Eric Lauer is currently about 25 innings away from equaling his total from the 2018 season. Joey Lucchesi is 13 innings away from reaching the 130 innings total he amassed last year. Both will need to be monitored closely as September approaches. The Padres will likely continue to utilize a mixed group of arms to eat innings.

Adrian Morejon and Michel Baez are both with the team, but neither has been stretched out. They have spent the entire 2019 season pitching in one and two-inning stints. You cannot expect much from these hurlers beyond what they are already doing. Cal Quantrill threw 148 innings last year and is currently at 93 innings pitched. He could be leaned on heavily in the final two months of the season. Matt Strahm may also return to the rotation, though he seems to be most valuable out of the bullpen.

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Throughout the 2018 season, the Padres have closely monitored each pitchers’ start. Only six times have Padres starting pitchers thrown more than 100 pitches in a single start- Cal Quantrill (1), Eric Lauer (3), Joey Lucchesi (2). What this has done to the staff is- work the bullpen at an incredible pace. Craig Stammen has pitched in 53 games, and closer Kirby Yates has thrown in 43 of the teams 110 games. Regularly the bullpen has been called upon to get through three and four innings of the game.

This recipe of young arms has led to a disastrous few months of baseball for the Padres. Manager Andy Green has been put to the test, and he has failed. Multiple times he has used the wrong combination of pitchers. In his defense, he has many constraints with this staff. Some men cannot pitch effectively on back to back days, and that is an issue. With no veteran starting pitchers in sight, the Padres will limp through the 2019 season. The good news is that next year this young staff should have some of the handcuffs removed from them. Each man should be given the opportunity to pitch deep into games, and that is only going to benefit the whole team.

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4 thoughts on “Pitching limitations have crippled Padres in 2019

  1. You did a good job of spelling out exactly each pitchers workload limitations. Surely this info was known to the manager before the start of the season. Makes it even more curious that he routinely waited until they got bombed before pulling them. If you know their limit is, say, 130 innings, and you want them available all season, that works out to 4. 3 innings over 30 starts. Even a child could do the math.
    In retrospect the plan should have been:
    1) Give each starter a chance to work 5 innings, but to pull them if they got into trouble before then, and not let them work past the 6th under any circumstances.
    2) Groom several pitchers as long relievers, guys who can come in and throw 2-3 innings twice a week.
    3) Shuttle relievers to and from El Paso. Outside of Stammen and Yates we’re talking about unproven players, so the rest of the pen should always be fresh – because we were going to use them a ton.
    Instead we face the possibility of needing a new rotation for September and having a burned out bullpen. When the book is written on how to manage a staff, Howdy Doody will be featured in the chapter “Don’t let this happen to you”. His photo will have him making that smug face he makes when he screws his team out of another game, and in the background the entire staff will be icing their arms, even Darren Balsley.

  2. Too many of the Padre’s pitchers often can not make it thru the opposition’s third trip to the plate. It almost seems like a mental issue. I know everyone has high praise for Balsley but isn’t that something that he should be able to correct? Come around that 6th. inning, most often our pitchers start to nibble and try to be too fine. They fall behind and walk people and when they try to correct, they just groove it down the middle. The other night you could see it happening with Joey but Green thought he looked sharp so not only did he not pitch hit for him when he should have, but he let him him get the first two hitters on base before he lifted him. Oh well, too too late.

    1. The third time through the lineup the hitters are more comfortable AND most pitchers are starting to tire. Perfect time to pull them.

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