Christian Friedrich– 74.1 IP, 7.14 K/9, 4.24 BB/9, 4.72 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 4.86 xFIP
One pitcher that really came out of nowhere for the Padres is lefty Christian Friedrich. After signing Friedrich earlier in the year, the lefty spent just under 20 innings in the minor leagues before being called up by the Padres. Friedrich got his first start in May for the Padres and has had a bit of an up and down year since then. He showed some flashes of brilliance over the first month or two but has since had his struggles, giving up three earned runs or more in seven of his last eight starts after giving up three earned runs or less in all of his first six starts with the Padres.
Going forward, it’s safe to not expect too much from Friedrich going forward. This isn’t a pitcher who is going to be a part of the next great Padres team, so for the time being he will just be another innings eating starter like Edwin Jackson. He does show flashes of brilliance, which will make him eminently more watchable, but fans shouldn’t let their expectations get too high.
Paul Clemens– 23 IP, 7.43 K/9, 5.48 BB/9, 4.70 ERA, 7.96 FIP, 5.74 xFIP
Next up in the Padres ragtag rotation is right hander Paul Clemens, who was claimed from the Marlins earlier in the season. The Padres are now Clemens sixth organization since being initially drafted in 2008. As a starter, Clemens has been about as pedestrian as they come in his time with the Padres. So far Clemens has made six appearances for the Padres, including two starts, and he has given up five earned runs in 13 innings. In both his starts, Clemens has given up three earned runs or less, but at the same time he hasn’t really ‘wowed’ anyone.
At this point, Clemens is just in San Diego taking up space in the rotation. If Tyson Ross or Cesar Vargas do find their way back to the rotation at some point this season, Clemens will probably be the guy to go. He may end up back in the bullpen, or he may end up back in Triple-A. Either way, there’s not too much to see here.
Jarred Cosart– 23 IP, 5.48 K/9, 8.61 BB/9, 5.09 ERA, 4.92 FIP, 5.42 xFIP
Finally, the Padres have their most recent addition in right hander Jarred Cosart. Acquired from the Marlins as part of the Andrew Cashner trade, Cosart certainly did not impress in his debut with the Padres. In his debut on Monday night Cosart lasted only three and a third innings, walking six batters and giving up only one hit and no earned runs. Obviously him not giving up runs is a good thing, but the walks are certainly a big cause for concern, and something that have plagued Cosart ever since he was drafted. Despite being a noteworthy prospect at several points in his past, Cosart has been unable to live up to that potential at the big league level.
While the more likely outcome is that Cosart is just a Quad-A rotation filler in the same way Erik Johnson was following the James Shields trade, there is at least some hope that Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley can “fix” Cosart and help him meet his potential. Either way, Cosart should be a useful member of the rotation during the Padres rebuild over the next few years.
The Padres rotation is pretty ugly following the trade deadline. With the trades of Andrew Cashner, James Shields, and Drew Pomeranz, and the injuries to Colin Rea and Tyson Ross, the Padres have a completely new rotation than the one they had on Opening Day. Outside of Luis Perdomo, and maybe Jarred Cosart, there really isn’t a lot to watch in the Padres rotation. The Padres may have a few rotation pieces currently on the team, but more likely than not, most of these guys will just be stop gaps until the Padres top prospects come up over the next several years. At this point, the Padres have quite a ragtag bunch of starters to finish out the 2016 season. If you’re going to rebuild, you might as well do it right. Right?