San Diego Padres: Lack of Pitching Depth Evident Following Two Defeats

jgoehring
Sep 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Paul Clemens (47) reacts after giving up a fourth inning home run to Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Paul Clemens (47) reacts after giving up a fourth inning home run to Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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After losing the first two spring training games to the Mariners in lopsided fashion, the San Diego Padres have reason to be concerned about their lack of pitching depth.

The San Diego Padres have surrendered 26 runs in two games to begin Cactus League action in 2017. Doing the simple math leaves some fans scratching their heads.

Fortunately, there is no legitimate reason for fans to panic just yet. But without a doubt, these first two exhibitions contests are indicative of just how shallow the club’s pitching staff is. With a couple of perfectly timed injuries early in the regular season, it may be time to panic.

The good news is, no projected starters have yet to appear in a game. Even bullpen arms have been limited, as most of San Diego’s pitchers thus far are competing for roster spots. This certainly helps explain why the club gave up 13 runs in both of the first two games against Seattle.

The first start went to Paul Clemens, who has an outside shot at the rotation. Surrendering a three-run blast to Nelson Cruz in the first inning certainly didn’t help his cause, but Clemens was not alone. Four additional pitchers were charged with earned runs on Saturday, each of which probably won’t even make the Opening Day roster.

On Sunday, no projected starters pitched, and few players with a legitimate shot to make the club took the mound. Zach Lee started and was handed the loss, but Dinelson Lamet‘s performance in relief was the most miserable, as he gave up four earned runs as a result of his four walks, and miraculously failed to record a single out.

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Struggles such as these in the early stages of spring training are to be expected for any club to a certain degree. For the Padres though, their lack of pitching depth has been taken to a new level. It seems that beyond their top pitchers, complete incompetence soon sets in. The drop off in ability is somewhat alarming.

The bottom line is, the Padres will be alright with Clayton Richard, Jered Weaver, Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill, and whoever comes away with the fifth starting job. Not great, but alright. What has been reinforced by these first two games though is that San Diego will struggle mightily if they are forced to dig deeper into the pitching staff than these five.

Next: Are the Padres on Course for an Epic Playoff Drought?

In other words, the Padres have a severe lack of pitching depth, especially rotation depth. Sure, they have four or five possible starters competing for one spot, but none of these options are ideal. San Diego can survive this, even in 2017 when they aren’t supposed to contend, but they must stay healthy.

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