Padres: Skipping Joey Lucchesi has bigger implications

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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Padres will reportedly use the off day on Thursday to skip Joey Lucchesi’s slot in the rotation. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

Well, it only took two weeks, and the Padres are already figuring out ways to skip Joey Lucchesi‘s spot in the rotation. The 27 year old’s struggles are well known, and he’s struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in his career. He’s not an innings eater and sports a 8.44 ERA through two starts this year. And the team will reportedly go with Zach Davies on Friday.

In a shortened season where every game matters, especially right now, when the Padres are facing the most adversity on their schedule, they need reliable pitchers. In both starts, Cal Quantrill has piggy-backed Lucchesi’s efforts.

Still, with Luis Patino called up on Tuesday – and not used from the pen – there’s a growing sense that the 20-year-old could slide into the rotation. He has big-time stuff, but I don’t think many would argue that MacKenzie Gore was expected to make his big league debut before Patino.

Regardless, Patino’s stuff plays well, with a fastball that consistently rides into the high 90s. He spun a 2.57 ERA in 20 appearances – including 19 starts – with 123 strikeouts in 94.2 innings between High-A and Double-A last year.

Now the attention shifts back to Lucchesi and what the Padres plan to do with him. He’s not a bad pitcher by any means, and he could potentially be a serviceable middle reliever. But I think what makes the most sense at this point is that the southpaw is likely to be traded.

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Last year, Lucchesi made 30 starts and posted a 4.18 ERA. He’d be a capable fifth starter on a team that needs one. The Padres aren’t desperate for pitching, but they could use help, potentially in the form of another bat. Let’s see if Lucchesi is soon part of a package.

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