Luis Perdomo came to the Padres via a trade with the Rockies, who grabbed him from the Cardinals organization in the draft. After initially being signed at age 17, he spent a few unremarkable seasons in rookie ball and low A ball, then had a breakthrough in 2015 in A ball, his second season at that level. He put up a 3.68 ERA in 17 games, striking out 100 and walking only 31 in 100 innings. He was named the Pitcher of the month for the Cardinals’ organization in May.
Perdomo pitched in the Futures Game mid-season, which really kind of put him on the map as a prospect. He faced three hitters in that game, includingTrevor Story
. You can view his performance at the 2:01:36 mark in this video. (Stay tuned after Perdomo’s appearance to seeColin Rea
’s action in the game.)
The righthander has a nearly plus-plus fastball and a plus slider, and some felt that focusing on these two pitches might allow him to find some success in the majors this season. He also has a changeup, which is not considered major-league ready yet.
So that’s Perdomo’s case, very typical of most Rule 5 guys – got some talent, and not ready (or even really close to ready) for a promotion to the majors based on merit. But that leap in production in the low minors last year was apparently enough to convince the Padres’ brass that Perdomo had enough talent to warrant a roll of the dice. And Perdomo became one of the two Rule 5 players to make San Diego’s opening day roster.
It didn’t take long to see him in action. During that ugly loss on that first day of the season, Perdomo entered the game in the seventh inning with the Padres down 8-0, and one-plus innings later, he left with the team down by 14.
He was getting hit like you don’t often see guys getting hit in the majors – just hitter after hitter mashing line drives. His ERA after that game was 54.00, and his WHIP was 8.00.
Perdomo was lifted after Yasiel Puig’s triple / little-league home run. Due to a double-switch, the official replacement in the game for Perdomo was San Diego’s other Rule 5 Opening Day guy, Jabari Blash. We’ll get to him in a moment.
Since Opening Day, Perdomo has been a bit better. Frankly, it would be hard continue to be that bad over an extended period. He has yet to pitch a 1-2-3 inning in seven appearances, but his post-OD numbers are an ERA of 6.00, allowing four runs in six innings, and a WHIP of 2.16.
Manager Andy Green has done his best to allow Perdomo to pitch in low leverage situations; in fact, he has only pitched one game in which the Padres weren’t either winning or losing by four or more runs, and that was in the 14th inning of that long Diamondbacks game. The Padres’ strange run of lopsided games is unlikely to last a full season, so Perdomo will eventually have to be used in tougher situations. If the team’s record improves to the point where wins and losses actually have post-season implications, the young pitcher will find himself needing to produce a lot better than he has been, if he wants to remain on the major league Padres.
Next: Jabari Blash