Things to Look Forward to in 2017: Luis Perdomo & His Progression

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

Luis Perdomo. A man who posted a 5.71 ERA in the 2016 season. Just how exciting can that be?

His numbers make him look as promising as the original Luis Perdomo, the Padres pitcher from 2009. Well, he is the perfect example that stats do not tell the full story on just how good a player is or has the potential to be.

Luis Perdomo started off as a Rule-5 draft pick that many thought to be meaningless. Why would you even claim a pitcher who had not pitched outside of Single-A baseball? This kid looked destined to be shipped back to the Cardinals farm system.

Well luckily, Andy Green and A.J. Preller took the chance for both the Padres sake and Luis himself. Right off the bat, or first pitch, Perdomo looked to be doomed to spend the season back in the minors with the Cardinals. His first outing would be absolutely abysmal. He would allow six runs to add oil to the fire of an already disappointing opening day loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The critics would start questioning the acquisition.

It seemed very questionable to keep Perdomo on the roster after a performance like that. The Padres would keep their faith in Perdomo though, as he would remain on the team. Perdomo would still have a few more shaky outings, where many were still not convinced of his abilities. It looked to be inevitable he would be shipped back to St. Louis. Thankfully, he rebounded in a big way for the Padres.

The outing which really turned things around would come on June 10 against the Rockies. Andrew Cashner would get injured after only a third of an inning at Coors Field. Perdomo would come in to replace Cashner. The young pitcher in Coors Field just felt like trouble waiting to happen. Well Perdomo would have his most impressive outing of the season to that point. Luis would pitch five and two-thirds innings, only allowing three earned runs against the Rockies at Coors Field. This is where Perdomo would turn into a full-time starter and really get the ball rolling.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

After that start Perdomo would allow three or fewer runs in six out of seven games. It was at this point in the season where the sinker would start really sinking for Luis Perdomo. While Perdomo’s sinker was becoming a weapon, his progression seemed to be ascending as well. As of June 15, until the end of the season he would allow three runs or less in 13 out of 18 outings. Even more impressive, 10 out of the 13 starts would be “quality” outings for Perdomo.

The right-hander would go from being a pitcher who should have been pitching in Double-A to having one of the most effective pitches in MLB. That deadly sinker would net Luis a 59.0% ground ball rate, which would be the second highest in the majors.

Luis Perdomo would show just how effective that sinker of his would be on August 28. Facing the Miami Marlins for the second time in the season, he would have a special outing. In his first start against the Marlins, Perdomo would look exceptional allowing three runs in six innings. Well, this time around he would have the best start of his young career. The Rule-5 draft pick would pitch a complete game in which he would only allow a run. That’s not even the impressive part. The sinker would really put in a shift as Perdomo would induce six double plays in the game. With that outing, Luis would really show just how effective his sinker can be.

I am beyond thrilled to see Luis back at it in 2017. Mark McGwire mentioned that Luis Perdomo was one of the highlights of the Padres 2016 season. Now, for a man who hit nearly 600 home runs to be excited about a pitcher with a sub-five ERA, well that really just says it all right there. Hopefully, Perdomo can continue to ascend in his development.

Luis just really needs that Cesar Vargas type of confidence. Once he finds that, he might just be unstoppable. Let’s not forget that Roy Halladay once had an ERA of over 10 when he was starting off in the major leagues. Also, Corey Kluber had an ERA of 5.14 in his first season being a full-time starter in Cleveland. Just look at where the former Friars prospect is at now. He’s winning Cy Young Awards and pitching in the World Series. Luis Perdomo could just be the player I’m most excited about for the 2017 season. Anybody who considers themselves a Padres fan, nay a baseball fan in general, should be as excited as “Big Mac” is. He will be fun to watch.

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