San Diego Padres RHP Luis Perdomo celebrated the Fourth of July with a return to the big leagues.
Luis Perdomo wasn’t fantastic in his return to the big leagues, that’s ok. Making his first start with the San Diego Padres since April 18th, Perdomo worked 5.2 innings of solid pitching against the Oakland Athletics.
As Perdomo worked in the second inning, Bob Scanlan reported that the team wanted Perdomo to use his four-seam fastball more and take a little off his slider. Well, he did use the four-seamer more often, 30% compared to 4% or lower in each of his previous starts this season (minus his 4/11 two-inning start). Unfortunately, according to Baseball Savant’s date, Oakland hitters posted a .500 batting average against the four-seamer. When he did struggle to find the zone, it was with that pitch.
More from Friars on Base
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
- Padres got steal with Xander Bogaerts after Carlos Correa’s mega-deal
What about the slider? The velocity wasn’t where Scanlan said the team wanted it, but it was mighty effective. The report was that the Padres wanted to see Perdomo throw his slider between 83-85 mph. Perdomo sat between 85-88 mph with the pitch, using it a very un-Perdomo like amount.
Only 20% of his 91 pitches were sliders, the second-lowest percentage over the last two years. He didn’t allow a hit off the slider, which produced a 25% whiff-rate.
Perdomo’s final line against Oakland: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K (91 pitches/51 strikes). In the process, he significantly lowered his ERA to 6.86, his WHIP to 1.41, and his BAA to .353 (just in case you forgot how ugly he was to begin the season).
This pitch helps highlight exactly what was so great about Perdomo’s start.
It’s not the 94 mph gas he’s still throwing as he approaches 90 pitches, it’s the location. The vast majority of his pitches were placed right around the lower-arm side corner. He wasn’t coming close to consistently hitting that spot in any of his previous starts, before the demotion.
With nothing left to prove in El Paso (6-2, 3.10 ERA, 58/16 K/BB ratio, .230 BAA in a very hitter-friendly ballpark), Luis Perdomo should be in the rotation to stay. When Jordan Lyles returns, he can return to his role as a reliever, where he had great success this year. This is the season of “sink or swim” for many of the players on this roster, Perdomo is one of them.