San Diego Padres: What To Expect In Walker Lockett’s MLB Debut
The San Diego Padres have called up Walker Lockett from Triple-A El Paso to make a spot start on Friday against the Reds.
With Joey Lucchesi still on the disabled list and both Bryan Mitchell and Robbie Erlin failing to secure themselves rotation spots, the San Diego Padres are taking a chance with rookie RHP Walker Lockett.
Lockett hasn’t exactly dazzled anyone in El Paso this year. In 10 games, he’s posting a 5.31 ERA
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and has already walked 18 batters. And yet, however high that ERA currently is, it’s still slightly lower than Mitchell’s 6.91.
While Lockett’s numbers aren’t anything to really get excited about, he has had some momentary flashes of brilliance this year. In his second start of the season, he tossed six innings of five-hit, two-run ball while striking out five. Then again at the end of April, against Las Vegas, Lockett once again went six innings, striking out eight hitters and giving up only four hits.
One of his original scouting reports from Fan Graphs explains that Lockett is a sinker-slider/change-up pitcher who’s able to get the ball over the plate for strikes. In his best start so far against Vegas, Lockett used the outside lower part of the plate to get most of those swings and misses. It’s clear that he had his best stuff on his slider working that day. The question remains, however, how can he maintain the consistency of those great starts.
Like most sinker-ball pitchers, his ground ball percentage is at around 43%. However, the problem is, that these ground balls seem to be making their way through the field for hits. It’s one thing to induce ground balls for outs, but when opposing batters currently have a BABIP of .330 against you, it’s a bit more of a problem.
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At the very least, Lockett is making his debut against baseball’s basement team, the Reds. The stakes could not be lower for a debut, so here’s to hoping Lockett can settle in and really show us what he can do on the mound.