Padres spring training: Joey Lucchesi off to good start, Gabriel Arias shows off arm

Joey Lucchesi made his opening statement to stick in the San Diego Padres starting rotation with a solid outing on Tuesday in a 9-6 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The top four of the San Diego Padres starting rotation is pretty much set, and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Joey Lucchesi will start the season in the fifth spot of the rotation.

He did nothing to hurt his chances on Tuesday with a solid outing in his first spring training game of 2020.

It wasn’t a clean outing for Lucchesi who gave up a run on a hit and a walk over 2 innings with a strikeout.

He was really struggling with his command in the first inning and left a couple of balls up that got hit hard.

But he looked much better in a 1-2-3 second inning where he got a lot of weak contact.

 

Defensive struggles 

The Padres defense on Tuesday was not great and cost the them a couple of runs.

In the first inning, Trent Grisham took a bad route on a ball that he missed on the warning track. The ball was smoked and might have been gone had the wind not knocked it down.

I’m not really going to knock Grisham for this one as it would have been a great catch had he made it, but as someone who doesn’t believe he’s a center fielder, this didn’t help change my opinion of that.

And then catcher Luis Torrens let a ball get by him that allowed a run to come in for Oakland (the only run Lucchesi allowed). It was a ball he probably should have blocked, especially with a runner on third.

Later Ty France let a ball roll up his arm and another Oakland run scored.

 

Gabriel Arias impresses with the arm

Maybe the most impressive takeaway for me in this game from a Padres perspective was the arm of Gabriel Arias at shortstop.

He caught one ball in the hole to his right and made a strong throw to first (it was a little high) to nail the runner. Later he charged a ball up the middle and threw a laser to first.

And then he received a double-play ball at second, bobbled it, and it still had the arm strength to throw the runner out at first.

I’m not sure what the future holds at shortstop for the Padres — if Fernando Tatis Jr. moves or if Arias moves — but Arias certainly showed me today he has the arm and range to stick at shortstop.

Arias also showed a little with the bat taking a ball the other way for an RBI hit in this third at-bat after pulling the ball to third in his first two at-bats.

 

Other game notes: 

* I was really looking forward to getting my eyes on Jake Cronenworth and he just looks like a dude. He reached on an error in his second at-bat on a slow-roller to second that he may have beat out even if the second baseman fielded it cleanly. And then he roped a line drive right to the third baseman (opposite way) in his third at-bat.

Esteban Quiroz is another infielder I’ve been looking forward to watching this Spring. He came into the game late and ripped an RBI single to right field, and then he hit a sacrifice fly to left field in his next at-bat to drive in another run.

Next: Is a trade coming?

The Padres will be on TV again Wednesday as the take on the Cleveland Indians. Chris Paddack is scheduled to make his 2020 spring training debut.

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