San Diego Padres are Spot-On in Starting Joey Lucchesi
Before yesterday’s Opening Day game, Andy Green made it official and named rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi Friday’s starting pitcher. He becomes the first of an exciting wave of prospect pitchers to make his pro debut for the San Diego Padres.
When the San Diego Padres take on the Milwaukee Brewers in the second game of the 2018 season, Joey Lucchesi will, deservedly, be the center of everyone’s attention.
Lately, my two favorite personnel in San Diego have been Andy Green and Joey Lucchesi. Andy Green seems to be making the right moves, every single time. While some tend to doubt his managing abilities, Green is moving this team in the right direction. The decision to start Joey Lucchesi is another small step in that direction.
In a recent article, we discussed why Joey Lucchesi must start for the San Diego Padres ahead of both Robby Erlin and Chris Young. Young, 38, doesn’t fit into the long-term plans and Erlin is still fresh off surgery. Lucchesi, on the other hand, is just 24 years-old and can provide an instant spark to the starting rotation.
The timing couldn’t be better to start Joey Lucchesi.
Lucchesi dominated during spring training. In 11.2 innings pitched, Lucchesi yielded a 1.54 ERA with a .857 WHIP against a 7.2 OppQual. He struck out nine hitters, using his deceptive delivery.
Lucchesi’s numbers were equally impressive in the minors. Over 181 innings, he worked a 1.99 ERA with a .953 WHIP while striking out an impressive 10.9/9 innings.
The 24-year-old southpaw is in fine form and there is no better time to make his major league debut. Sure, he has yet to pitch about Double-A, however, AA is now considered the toughest level of minor league baseball. He’s a four-year college pitcher who doesn’t have a ton of projection left and is close to reaching what many scouts believe to be his ceiling, a back-end rotation piece. A very fine back-end piece if I may add.
Lucchesi has an opportunity to make the rotation spot his own. With the injury to Dinelson Lamet, the Friars are short on viable starting pitchers. If Lucchesi performs well tonight, he has the chance to turn this “spot-start” into a permanent job.
Next: What We Liked About Opening Day
Sit back and enjoy folks, Magician Lucchesi is here! He will toss out the first pitch at 7:10 pm PT on Fox Sports San Diego.