Coming into the season, the San Diego Padres had hoped that their players would continue to develop over the course of this rebuilding year. Let’s take a look at how each player has fared so far this season.
Clayton Richard, the San Diego Padres Opening Day starter, had a solid first outing, going a strong seven innings while giving up six hits and striking out four. Since then, however, Richard has struggled with his release point and has not managed to go farther than five innings in any of his outings, contributing to the high use of the bullpen early in the season.
The first of the Hot Talent Lava to arrive at Petco Park this year, Joey Lucchesi has been the Padres most consistent starter throughout the first month of the season. Lucchesi’s “churve” has been fooling hitters all season with its deceptive movement. As evidenced by his 2.70 ERA over five starts in the big leagues, Joey “Fuego” and his delivery/pitch location is playing well in the major leagues. In addition, he has struck out 29 batters, while only walking eight this season.
Bryan Mitchell, the prized asset from the Chase Headley trade that AJ Preller orchestrated over the offseason, has had a slow start to the year. Over the course of five starts, Mitchell has walked 19 batters, while only striking out seven. He has struggled mightily with his command and has been getting hit hard all year (average exit velocity of 91 mph in his last start). He has pitched 25 innings in total, posting an abysmal 5.76 ERA. This will only go up if he continues to miss the strike zone as often as he does (16% walk rate).
Luis Perdomo, once a rule-5 draft pick from the Cardinals, has had an up and down career with the San Diego Padres. He struggled during spring training and continued to struggle over the course of his four starts this year. In 14 innings of work he gave up 15 runs, walked nine, and posted an ERA of 8.36 before the Padres decided to send him to Triple-A to work on his mechanics and delivery.
Finally healthy again, Tyson Ross is starting to look like the Tyson Ross Padres fans fell in love with during his All-Star year of 2014. So far this season he has shutout the defending world series champions, Houston Astros, and almost no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks, falling four outs shy. His 2.81 ERA is second lowest for starting pitchers, and if he continues to pitch this well he should be in consideration for comeback player of the year.