Luis Perdomo will start for the Padres on Tuesday, but it raises the question of why Cal Quantrill isn’t getting his chance.
With the Padres reportedly set to go with Luis Perdomo in Tuesday night’s start, it has all the makings of a bullpen night…on the road…against the Dodgers. What could go wrong? But while I expect Perdomo to go two or three innings with Cal Quantrill following him for a few, why not just let the latter start the game?
The Padres have an open slot in their rotation, thanks to Joey Lucchesi being sent down to the team’s alternate training site, and Quantrill should get every opportunity to lock it down. If you recall, both he and Lucchesi were battling it out for the fifth starter role in spring training. And Quantrill looked like he had a slight edge on Joey before the shutdown.
The Padres first-round pick of the 2016 MLB Draft hasn’t pitched since August 1, so there could be some concern that he’s not stretched out, and I get that. Still, the 25-year-old made his debut on May 1 last year, making 18 starts in all, with a 5.16 ERA in 103.0 innings of work.
Perdomo’s best pitch may be a devastating slider, one that yielded a 31.8 percent whiff rate and 34 of his 55 strikeouts last season. And while he didn’t throw it as often, his split-finger fastball produced a .115 average (.272 xBA). The primary concern is that Perdomo tends to get knocked around, as demonstrated by his career 40.0 hard-hit rate, including a 42.5 rate last year, which fell into the bottom seven percent of the league.
With exception to his curveball, Quantrill’s pitches produced nearly even results, and in 2020, it appears that he’s dropped the curveball, allowing his other four pitches to take over. Quantrill has a devastating changeup, and while the results are limited to just 16 pitches, the changeup is producing an 83.3 percent whiff rate in 2020. It’s also worth noting that he primarily throws this pitch against left-handed batters, which the Dodgers lineup is chalked full of.
Not to get too nerdy here on the pitching, but it’s important to understand that Quantrill offers more than Perdomo. If stretched out, I don’t think it’s even a question that the former gets the nod on Tuesday, with the potential for future starts.
You can pick your poison here, but both Perdomo and Quantrill’s appearances against the Dodgers have not been great, with an 8.08 ERA in 13 career games and a 9.64 ERA in two games, respectively. The Padres will have to figure out a formal plan beyond Tuesday because if both guys have rough outings, the bullpen will be heavily taxed with two games remaining against the rival Dodgers and no off day until August 24.