The San Diego Padres must address their rotation issues. Bringing up one of their best young arms could be the next move.
The San Diego Padres are left in a tough spot. Manager Andy Green must fill the void left in the Friars’ rotation after Dinelson Lamet exited today’s game with elbow pain.
Lamet is expected to be out until May, as per Padres beat reporter for MLB.com, A.J. Cassavell. The good news though is that there is reportedly no structural damage in his elbow.
Andy Green has a few options up his sleeve. He can ask the 38-year-old veteran pitcher Chris Young to turn back the clock or look to the lefty Robby Erlin who has been impressive coming back from Tommy John surgery, or he could simply toss the ball to the uber-impressive Joey Lucchesi.
Why Joey Lucchesi deserves to start for San Diego Padres
Chris Young is a veteran with loads of experience. He has thirteen years of pitching experience in Major League Baseball, but he only pitched thirty innings for the Royals in 2017, yielding a 7.50 ERA.
He was later relegated to the minors and subsequently released. He has had a good (not great) Spring Training in Peoria. Chris Young’s value to the Padres would be in taking the role of a long relief pitcher. At 38, Young is not the long-term solution for the Padres.
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Robby Erlin has missed a lot of action over the last couple of seasons. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2016.
Robby Erlin only pitched 15.2 innings in 2016 and 17 in 2015. In Spring Training he looked sharp in the limited time (6 innings) he was on the mound, giving up a 2.84 ERA with a 0.95 WHIP.
Expecting Robby Erlin to deliver as a starting pitcher after missing so much time would be unreasonable. Easing him back must be the preferred option. Again, expect Robby Erlin to start the year as a long relief pitcher with Chris Young.
This leaves us with only one other choice, Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi has easily looked head and shoulders above most Padres’ hurlers so far this spring (starters included). On Saturday, Joey was re-assigned to the minors.
However, he is definitely ready to make his Major League debut soon. Manager Andy Green said he was “fairly certain” that Lucchesi would be discussed along with Chris Young and Robby Erlin when considering who would be the “next man up”.