Padres’ pitching depth critical in first 30 games
By Ryan Sikes
With just one off day in the first 30 games this year, the Padres pitching depth will be critical to helping them push for the postseason.
As long as the Padres don’t consume fettucini alfredo before games, like Michael Scott before the Fun Run, Jayce Tingler’s group is well-positioned in what has largely been viewed as a 60-game sprint. The combination of depth that they have both in the rotation and the bullpen is going to be a good problem this season, but the former also needs to ensure they are not leaving the ‘pen out high and dry.
“I think it’s imperative that these guys go deep in the ballgame,” said Mark Grant, via Scanning The Field. “Because if you have a few starts where they get knocked out early, then you start wearing out that bullpen a little bit. Even though there are the extra arms and the depth and the talent of these guys, I think that could wreak havoc on a rotation in such a short time.”
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The Padres rotation is likely set with Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Garrett Richards, Zach Davies and then either Joey Lucchesi or Cal Quantrill filling out the starting five, they still potentially have MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, and Michel Baez, among others, to insert on days that those guys need a rest.
And speaking of rest, while the 60-game schedule seems simple enough, MLB did not do any favors for the Padres within the first 30 days of the upcoming season with their only off day coming on August 6. Then the next one comes at the end of August.
It will be important for the Padres to start off on the right foot, and the teams they face are favorable for the Friars. However, in early to mid-August, they hit their toughest stretch facing the Dodgers and Diamondbacks both at home and away before heading facing the Rangers and Astros.
The back end of the bullpen looks strong on paper with Kirby Yates and Emilio Pagan. The Padres lost Jose Castillo for an unknown period of time, but if the starters fail to go at least five or six innings each outing, the workload of the guys before Pagan and Yates could significantly increase.