In 2016, Friedrich was maybe the most reliable starter on the team. He started 23 games and pitched 129.1 innings for the Padres. During spring training he was a top candidate for a spot in the rotation or at least a bullpen role. Unfortunately, at the end of spring training he was diagnosed with a strained left lat and was experiencing soreness in his left elbow. On May 7, an MRI showed no structural damage, but Friedrich started the season on the 10-day DL. On May 10, he was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day DL to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Jose Valdez.
If his progress continues he could be back with the team sometime in June. If it’s an innings eater that the Padres are looking for, Friedrich may be a useful arm upon return. Jered Weaver may be on his last leg and Lamet may be sent back down to El Paso at some point for further conditioning. Also, some of the one-year guys like Cahill, Clayton Richard, and Jhoulys Chacin may be traded at the deadline. If any of these things take place, Friedrich could slot back into the rotation much like he did last season. He is a good player to have on the back burner as he progresses in recovery.
Jankowski was placed on the 10-day DL on April 24, after he reportedly sustained a right foot bone bruise. A few days later on April 27, the possibility of a hairline fracture was announced. On May 15, a scan confirmed a fracture in his right foot and the team realized that he was going to be out another six weeks. He won’t be back until just around the end of the first half of the season, and maybe even later. The loss of Jankowski has been a tough blow for the Padres who have really missed his speed and skill on the basepaths. Jankowski had been progressively getting better at his ability to manufacture runs. His defensive prowess has also been missed in left field. The team has had a tough time producing runs on anything outside of the home run . Once back, Jankowski should return as a spark plug player that Andy Green can use to score the unconventional run.
On May 27, Margot was placed on the 10-day DL with a calf injury. He had been out of the lineup and considered day-to-day since May 25. On May 30, an MRI on his right calf showed no major damage, just a bit of fluid buildup. All indicators show that he should be ready to return in early June. This is very good news for the Padres, who are missing their leadoff hitter. While, Allen Cordoba and Franchy Cordero have been filling in well for the rookie sensation center fielder, the team will only benefit from having him back on the field. The team and fans alike are very lucky that his injury was not serious.
On May 7, Sanchez was placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to May 6) for a right foot contusion after fouling a ball off of his foot. On May 15, he caught a bullpen session and appeared to be making solid progress. On May 18, he was cleared to begin a rehab assignment in El Paso. On May 22, he experienced a setback in El Paso. The severity of the setback and when he will be able to return is uncertain at this point.
Currently the Padres are rolling with Luis Torrens as Austin Hedges‘ backup behind the dish and he’s been doing all right. He even had himself a multi-hit night against the Mets on May 24. Sanchez has had value at the plate, especially in pinch-hitting situations. He can also fill in at first, which is useful. He has been missed, however his injury has given Torrens, who was potentially on the verge of being cut, a chance to prove himself a bit more. Sanchez’ absence may be to the benefit of the youth movement.
On May 20, Weaver couldn’t get through the first inning. He gave up seven runs and only recorded two outs before getting yanked.He is winless in nine starts with a 7.44 ERA. On the same day, he was placed on the 10-day DL with hip inflammation. Some skeptics wondered if Weaver really was experiencing an injury or if the club was just buying time until they could figure out a way to get rid of him after a string of awful starts.
Recent criticism from owner Ron Fowler only served as fuel for the rumors. It appears that Weaver really was experiencing hip inflammation and on May 31, threw a bullpen session. Andy Green reported that there was still some “inflammation tightness” but it looks like progress is being made. With Lamet pitching as well as he has been, the Padres have no reason to rush Weaver to return; if they ever do intend for him to return.
It seems that many of the team’s best assets on the DL are set to return sometime in June. That’s good news, especially with many of the youngsters playing as well as they have been. Depth is never a bad thing in the game of baseball, and with a full roster, Andy Green will be afforded many options to get creative with. I think most of us are counting on a series of trades at the deadline; primarily exchanging short-term veteran players to bring in minor league prospects. If and when this occurs, it will be good to have healthy players to fill in the holes on the 25 and 40-man rosters. It’s an exciting time in Padreland.