Much has been said about the possibility of top prospect Mackenzie Gore blowing everyone away this spring, as Chris Paddack did last year. My opinion is that even if Gore is spectacular he will not make the rotation unless there is an injury or illness that requires it.
With his 21.2 innings pitched in Double-A Amarillo, Gore needs more seasoning in the minor leagues before facing big league hitters.
His cumulative 183 minor league innings over four levels and three seasons have shown what he is capable of against young hitters, but that 2.56 ERA will be more impressive if he can hold it over another three months or so of Double-A competition.
Allowing him to pitch in the majors at age 21 probably won’t ruin him if it doesn’t go well, but I would prefer to give him a good start at Amarillo and then bring him up with momentum and confidence behind him.
If these starters can approach their ceilings during this season it is no surprise that the Friars did not jump to sign the high priced free agents available.
Paddack, Richards, and Lamet all have ace potential and I expect two, if not all three, will not disappoint. There is potential for adding Gore after two-to-three months if the rotation needs to be shored up.
With a combination of Davies, Lucchesi, and/or Quantrill holding down the back end, the Padres shouldn’t have to use the minor league depth as often as last season.