The Padres do not need an ace, because they already have two of them

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There are several indications that the San Diego Padres are possibly searching for an ace to lead the staff once the season starts. But does the team already have two pitchers who are capable of filling the need?

With a potent hitting lineup of stars, the San Diego Padres are close to major league relevancy. Most pundits agree that the key to the 2020 season is starting pitching. If they can get anything positive out of the group, the Padres could surprise a few teams in 2020.

With several young players entrenched in the rotation and a few more on the rise, the Padres are very close to being a competitive team.

Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and even Chris Archer are names that were linked to the Padres to some degree. There seems to be the thought that the Padres need an ace, but the reality of the situation is that they might already have two of them on their roster.

It is early, but Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet show a rare ability on the mound.

Both pitchers rack up the strikeouts, and each provides an edge to the team when they pitch.

Chris Paddack

To begin 2019, Chris Paddack was simply one of the best pitchers in the game. The right-hander was 2-1 in April with a 1.91 ERA and a 0.697 WHIP in six starts, and 33 innings pitched. This was a fantastic start to the career of Paddack. The league caught up to Paddack as he mainly relied on two pitches in 2019. The changeup is a plus pitch for the big Texan, and he locates his mid-90s fastball really well, but the key to Paddack seems to be the curveball.

This spring, Paddack is using the curve more and trying to locate the pitch accurately. The right-hander is very excited about the progression of the pitch and reported that he has several things that he is working on with the development of the curve. “Being able to slow my body down,” Paddack said, was one key to the future of the pitch. Paddack explains that he gets too animated when throwing the pitch, and his mechanics become out of order.

Paddack is a student of the game. There is much to like about his approach and how diligent he is about his preparation. There is a high ceiling with this native Texan who brings a menacing presence to the team on game day.

Dinelson Lamet

In August, September, and October, Lamet recorded a 3.60 ERA and a 1.202 WHIP in nine starts, and 50 innings pitched. The right-handed pitcher struck out 75 in that time, showcasing one of the most dominant sliders in the game. Lamet has a high ceiling and has yet to reach his ultimate potential. Most believe that Lamet is on the cusp of a breakout season, and 2020 could be the year that breakout happens.

Lamet’s slider is tough to hit. Recently, Tommy Pham spoke about the pitcher and the fact his slider is tough to hit. “I knew it was coming and still had no chance. He is nasty,” Pham said when speaking about facing Lamet in a spring matchup early in the month. That is some high praise from a veteran player who prides himself on making contact.

In time Lamet could be a top-of-the-order force for the Padres. The velocity on the fastball is there, and his wipeout slider is impossible to hit when Lamet changes speeds on the pitch. The right-hander uses several different planes with the pitch and is capable of adding or subtracting velocity on the ball.

A third and fourth ace on the rise? MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino

With every pitch this spring, Gore established himself as one of the best pitchers on the staff. The 21-year-old pitcher arguably can throw in the major leagues right now. The work ethic and understanding of the game is off the charts as well. With four pitches that grade as above-average, Gore could easily be the best pitching prospect the Padres have produced since Jake Peavy.

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Directly behind Gore in terms of growth is Luis Patino. The Padres drafted the Colombian youngster as a shortstop, but he showed more promise on the mound. Some even consider his arsenal and stuff better than what Gore possesses. Patino tops out in the upper 90s with his fastball and throws a plus slider and change. There is more progression beyond those two pitches, and Patino is extremely athletic on the mound. In time, this duo could lead the San Diego Padres’ rotation for years to come.

The Padres have depth. There are several men capable of taking their game to the next level. Because of this depth, the Padres wisely have taken it slow in terms of acquiring a pitcher to headline the staff. There could still be a need for a veteran pitcher as playoffs become something to consider in San Diego, but Preller and his staff will cross that bridge when it comes. For now, enjoy Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet and enjoy the fact they provide a mysterious future for the team. In time, each could be recognized within the major league community as a headline starting pitcher.

4 thoughts on “The Padres do not need an ace, because they already have two of them

  1. The potential for a strong, deep staff is there. With the new pitching coach and the minor league coaching, the possibility exists. This is a year of “let’s see” with the pitching staff. While innings won’t be as restricted as last year, there are still past injuries to ensure we’re past and growing pains with such a young staff.

    We still have many questions regarding our hitting/fielding as well. Hosmer has a no trade and Myers doesn’t seem to be going anywhere either. Pham is still truly unproven over any length of time and not really seen as a stud offensively. We need everything to click and everyone to have good years if we are to have success this year.

    We have good starting pitching and good relief pitching. The possibilities are there if they all hold up. Studs in the minors (Gore, Patino, and others) need their innings to gather experience and grow. It, along with our minor league prospects, show promise.

  2. I pretty much agree with Carlos G. I’m a bit concerned about Gore and Patino being able to pitch all those innings needed as starters, but I saw Lamet pitch four scoreless innings live last week in Peoria and he was awesome. In fact I’d make him the ace over Paddack. Maybe now AJ can save his available money to bring in some everyday players who can hit without striking out. Mookie Betts would have been great; keep working the phones AJ!

  3. The problem I see is dollars,how do you sign pham,Pattic and tatis an others coming up.they will need to move myers ,hosmer,hedges to keep all these studs.i still beleive there at best a 500 team.runs and pinching win games .too many if s .let’s just wait and see .regardless get rid of preller.he gives up way too much talent for injured and has been talent.when the Dodgers and yankees bring a player in ,they want the best ,not 5th best.

  4. Let’s get one thing straight, to be an ace one must be a proven dominant pitcher. Yes we have the horses but they are not proven. Lamet, Paddack, Gore, Patiño have all the tools to get there. The only thing I have against Paddack is that he needs to get that “ I’m a stud pitcher” attitude in check. He leaves to many balls in the middle of the plate and he doesn’t have an elite fastball to just blow it by guys. Lamet has the gas and ball movement to be an absolute stud but does miss a lot of his spots. Gore and Patiño look great but I can’t comment on them until they face real major league hitters. If 2 out of these 4 guys workout to become 1s and 2s the rest are definitely 3s and we should have a solid staff for years to come. One last guy to not sleep on is Cantrill, he has 95-98 stuff and his ball moves like crazy but just can’t put it together. He looks like the type of pitcher that is a late bloomer. Padres are definitely in a good place pitching wise for years to come.

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