Arguably, the best starting pitcher on the San Diego Padres roster didn’t suit up in 2018.
We’re going to continue to fill the void between playoff baseball and what is sure to be a busy offseason for the San Diego Padres by taking a look at another Friar who did not see the field in 2018, Dinelson Lamet. This is part two of a series that takes a look at every single player on this past season’s roster and looks at where each player progress and regressed and what sort of impact they may have in 2019.
This past season was supposed to be a big year for second-year RHP Dinelson Lamet. He earned the second rotation slot, behind Opening Day starting pitcher Clayton Richard, but was clearly the best starter on this roster to begin the year. Unfortunately, Lamet missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early April.
In his rookie campaign, Lamet went 7-8 with a 4.57 ERA and a 10.94 K/9 strikeout rate. Opposing hitters barely climbed above the Mendoza line against Lamet, posting a .207 average against the rookie.
Armed with a 95 mph fastball and a slider which he used 40% of the time, Lamet spent the offseason and spring training working on adding another pitch to his repertoire, a curveball. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer to find out how often he will use the pitch and how effective it is.
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What we do know is how effective his slider is. It produced a 40% whiff rate and opponents hit just .136 against the pitch. It ranked as one of the best sliders in baseball in 2017.
2019 outlook for the San Diego Padres pitcher.
There’s no set date for Lamet’s return to the mound, however, it is safe to assume that he won’t be throwing in a live baseball game until at least May or June at the absolute earliest, if everything goes well until then. When he does return to the mound, he is sure to be on a strict innings limit, more than likely around 50-60 innings or less, depending on when he returns.
While it is exciting to think about all of the young pitching talent coming up through the system, don’t forget about Dinelson Lamet. He won’t be at full strength until 2020, however, this is a major league starting pitcher with real upside. At worst, the Padres potentially have another stellar arm out of the bullpen with a lethal slider. But were a long way away from thinking about this is a real possibility.
Tomorrow, we continue our review of 2018 with one of the more exciting players on this roster, a young outfielder by the name of Franchy.