Padres News: Odrisamer Despaigne Back on Track


Odrisamer Despaigne knows that he doesn’t have to rely on tricking hitters to get them out. You don’t get to the major leagues on parlor tricks after all. His season has been a rollercoaster of sorts so far, filling in admirably when Ian Kennedy went on the DL at first, then hitting a rough patch when filling in a week later for injured Brandon Morrow. Sunday he turned in his best effort so far on the year, allowing only one run and going a career high 8 innings in the Padres 7-1 win.

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As reported by Jeff Sanders of the UT, Bud Black certainly sees it as no surprise how well Despaigne can be:

"“I think with Despy, we’ve talked about being less than a trickster and being more of a pitcher and making pitches, I think with his motion, his varying arm angles, at times he feel as though he has to trick hitters. He’s got good stuff. He can throw the ball up to … 94 mph; that’s legit velocity. He doesn’t need to fool people. He can pitch.”"

 He certainly can and outings like the one prove that he is a valuable asset to a team that has more rehabbing pitchers on the way in the form of Josh Johnson and Morrow hopefully returning soon as well.

Despaigne improved to 3-3 on the year with a 4.56 ERA in 7 starts and 11 total appearances.

Compared to last season, when Despaigne made 16 starts in 96 IP, this year he has made 7 starts and pitched in about 50 innings. While only allowing 6 home runs all of last year, he has already allowed 6 this year. However, last year he walked 32 to only 12 this season so far.

In his starts this season he has now had three straight quality starts including the 8 inning effort. In fact, on the season 5 of his 7 starts have been quality starts (defined as at least 6 IP with 3 ER or less). Because of low run support or late run support, he has only won the three. If you throw out the two disastrous starts of early May, his ERA would only be a miniscule 2.17! Unfortunately I don’t think Cy Young voters are known for taking out the worst two starts of a pitchers season when evaluating their statistics.

 The question now will be what happens when Morrow is healthy? Ian Kennedy turned in a good start Wednesday night, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross are having solid seasons, and James Shields is still undefeated. Do you send a guy like Despaigne back to the bullpen or use him as trade bait if Josh Johnson or another pitcher from AAA show they can hold down rotation spots as well?

For now, that question doesn’t need to be answered and generally have ways of working themselves out. If Odrisamer keeps going on his current run though and getting better, he will force an answer and help directly affect the answer.

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