With the trade deadline now complete, it’s pretty clear where the Padres stand with just about two months left in the 2016 season. With all their most productive players now traded away, the Padres aren’t going to good for the rest of 2016. They probably won’t be good in 2017 either, but now I am just getting ahead of myself.
Looking forward to the end of 2016, no part of the Padres will be more interesting to watch than the starting rotation. While both the lineup and bullpen lost key pieces at the trade deadline, the starting rotation is completely in shambles. Prior to Monday, there wasn’t a single opening day starter remaining on the team save for Tyson Ross, but with the return of Colin Rea, the Padres now have two opening day starters remaining, although both are currently on the disabled list.
The loss of James Shields, Andrew Cashner, and Drew Pomeranz leaves the Padres with an almost completely new rotation. With that, the Padres have four pitchers in their rotation who weren’t even in the organization on opening day, and another who no one would have guessed would have made it this far into the season.
While the Padres may end up being hard to watch these next two months, the pitching staff will at least be intriguing to say the least. With Erik Johnson likely out for the season, Tyson Ross still not close to returning, and Cesar Vargas still on the disabled list, the Padres likely have their five guys for the remainder of the season. Here’s what to expect from the rotation the rest of this year.
Edwin Jackson– 28 IP, 4.82 K/9, 5.14 BB, 5.46 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 6.02 xFIP
For no other reason than experience alone, Edwin Jackson is more or less the Padres de facto staff ace for the remainder of the season. It’s hard to say Jackson has been good this season, his walk rate being higher than his strikeout rate is particularly alarming, but he has been pretty consistent since joining the Padres. After giving up only two earned runs in six innings in both his first two starts, Jackson gave up six earned to the Reds in his third start with the Padres. Based on those strong two starts, there was even some chatter about Jackson being a potential trade piece for the Padres. Obviously that didn’t come to fruition, but Jackson has been a much-needed stabilizer in the rotation.
Going forward, it’s hard to expect Jackson to be anything more than an innings eater for a Padres team with no designs of playoff contention. In that role Jackson is a more than respectable player to have for this year. At 32 years old Jackson is obviously the most experienced of any Padres pitcher, and he should provide some good leadership for what is now a young pitching staff and roster all around. Staff ace? Sure.
Luis Perdomo– 82.1 IP, 7.11 K/9, 3.28 BB/9, 6.89 ERA, 4.69 FIP, 4.06 xFIP
If not for Edwin Jackson, young right hander Luis Perdomo would probably be the staff ace based on his strong progression this season and the fact that he is now the longest tenured member of the rotation. After being quite the disaster early in the season, Perdomo has actually become a viable major league starter in recent months. Many didn’t think Perdomo would last through the whole season, as the right hander had never pitched above A-ball before the season. Now he has outlasted every other pitcher in the Padres opening day rotation, and looks to see the season through to it’s end.
While the numbers above don’t look good at all, Perdomo has improved in almost every month. After finishing March/April with an ERA just shy of 11.00, Perdomo got his ERA down to 9.39 in May, 7.00 in June, and finally 3.99 in July. As is evidenced by his ERA, Perdomo really came into his own in July. There’s obviously still a lot of work to do, but Perdomo may be the most watchable Padres rotation piece for the remainder of the season.
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