Padres: Three players to replace Joey Lucchesi in rotation

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, the Padres optioned starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi to the team’s alternate training site. Who replaces him?

On Thursday, the Padres made a surprising move, sending Joey Lucchesi down to the team’s alternate training site. Josh Naylor accompanied him, trimming the roster to 28 players in the process. Lucchesi was already facing adversity in the rotation, and his poor start to a 60-game schedule with no room for trial periods.

We’ve already discussed his struggles at length, so let’s focus on the future. The Padres already have a ton of pitching depth, so they shouldn’t have an issue placing someone into Lucchesi’s spot in the rotation. Let’s look at three options that might make sense.

1. Cal Quantrill

Cal Quantrill backed Lucchesi’s starts this year and was right on his tail for the final spot in the rotation. The team’s former first-round pick of the 2016 MLB Draft made 18 starts in 2019, fanning 89 batters with a 5.16 ERA. A closer review of his stats proves that a disastrous September, in which Quantrill posted a 10.90 ERA in four starts, heavily skewed his overall ERA. He was making a strong case for the final spot in the rotation in spring training before the shutdown. I suspect that he’ll get the first chance to lock down the open spot in the rotation, given he’s stretched out.

2. Luis Patino

Luis Patino was called up on Tuesday, serving out of the bullpen on Wednesday evening. He tossed two innings, to mixed results. He needs to rely on his other pitches, as he’s a heavy fastball thrower. The 20-year-old made 48 starts in the minor, posting a 2.35 ERA while holding opponents to a .208 average. The Padres may need to stretch him out in another couple of bullpen appearances, but it’s entirely feasible for him to throw five or six innings in the near future. How effective will he be? That remains to be seen.

3. MacKenzie Gore

I think most expected MacKenzie Gore to come up before Patino, and the former may end up having a more impactful tenure this year. Who knows. What is known is that the Padres would have to send another player down to make room for Gore, already needing to do that when Eric Hosmer is expected to return on Saturday.

dark. Next. Important Week Ahead

The 21-year-old Gore is the game’s top pitching prospect, and he’s expected to become the team’s ace, alongside Chris Paddack, within a couple of years. It might be time to unleash MacKenzie Gore, folks.