San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Paddack will start in Pittsburgh on Saturday, after a brief demotion that lasted just over a week.
So much for the San Diego Padres limiting Chris Paddack’s innings.
A report from MLB.com cites unnamed sources who claim Paddack will rejoin San Diego as the Padres travel to Pittsburgh, and start Saturday’s game against the Pirates.
Paddack was optioned to the team’s Single-A affiliate Lake Elsinore Storm on June 12, with the Padres front office claiming that they wanted to limit the starter’s innings, to keep Paddack from overworking in his first season.
But the roster move turned out to be little more than a formality.
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The right-hander never threw a single pitch for Lake Elsinore, and there will have been just ten days between his move to Single-A and his return to the major league roster (the absolute MLB minimum).
The Padres are still in need of solid starting pitching, and the upcoming road trip spaces out five games—three in Pittsburgh and two with the Baltimore Orioles—over eight days.
That’s an easier scenario for Paddack to return in, although the issue of limiting his innings still has to be dealt with.
Will his starts in Pittsburgh, and presumably beyond, be restricted? How will the Padres continue to plan for Paddack’s long-term future, while being intent on using him in the present?
And most importantly, which Chris Paddack will they get back when he returns?
He’s been sharp more often than not, but in his last three starts, he has allowed 13 runs. Those include six home runs. His ERA has jumped from 1.93 to 3.95, too. That’s still not bad compared to other San Diego starters, but that’s a bad trend and not the Paddack whom everyone has been so high on throughout the 2019 season.
His opponent on Saturday would be Chris Archer, who has cooled off considerably since joining the Pirates from the Tampa Bay Rays. This season, the two-time All-Star is 3-6 with a 5.85 ERA, so he will be decent competition for Paddack—not an ace anymore, but no pushover either.
If Chris Paddack returns to form, though, a rotation with him and Logan Allen in it could be quite the combination going into the second half of the season. The Padres are gambling here by having him back so quickly, yet there’s no denying this could pay off big if it pans out.
For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.