Padres: MacKenzie Gore dubbed as season-changing rookie

Could MacKenzie Gore have a significant impact on the Padres’ playoff outlook? MLB says yes.

While I don’t anticipate MacKenzie Gore to make the 30-man roster out of Summer Camp, the Padres‘ pitching phenom is likely to make his big league debut at some point this season. Hopefully, it’s not the case, but in the event of an injury, Gore is going to be the first man inserted into the starting rotation.

MLB recently released its list of rookie players who could have a significant impact on their respective team’s chances of making the postseason, tabbing Gore as that guy for the Friars.

“San Diego projects to be a bubble team in the NL playoff picture, but if Gore debuts early on and dominates as a rookie, he could help the Padres make the postseason for the first time since 2006.”

To this point, Gore hasn’t pitched above Double-A, but he’s cruised through the minors. Last year, he posted a combined 1.69 ERA in 20 starts, split between High-A Lake Elsinore and the aftermentioned AA. He made five starts for Amarillo to close out his 2019 campaign and posted a 4.15 ERA while fanning 25 batters in 21.2 innings.

Is there a scenario where the Padres could use Gore, regardless of injury? Absolutely. We are experiencing an unusual season, and we are going to see some unusual things.

Joey Lucchesi has yet to display the ability to consistently pitch beyond the fifth inning, as he has a 7.94 ERA in the 6th inning during his brief MLB career. The Padres could swing Lucchesi going four innings, followed by three to four innings of Gore. That’s sustainable.

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And days that Lucchesi goes at least six innings, Gore could be utilized for two relief innings on other days. They will have to get creative, but the opportunities are endless. And yes, Gore could push the Padres into the postseason. Let’s see how they utilize him this year when he’s finally added to the active roster.