Padres: Long-term concerns for Dinelson Lamet’s health

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

Dinelson Lamet has reportedly begun PRP therapy on the injured elbow but look no further than Garrett Richards that this could be a big problem for the Padres.

The Padres have generally been hush-hush on the Dinelson Lamet injury front. I think I speak for most of us when I say that I was shocked he couldn’t return for the NLDS. If you recall, Mike Clevinger‘s injury was believed to be the more concerning injury, yet Lamet never came back. And according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the 28-year-old has started PRP treatment on his elbow.

PRP, meaning platelet-rich plasma, has been utilized as a treatment form where it is injected straight into the affected area, primarily to reduce pain. Doctors around the league have found that rest alone may not repair the damaged tendons, but the natural healing properties found in PRP facilitate the repair of said tendons.

But look no further than Garrett Richards, who underwent the same kind of treatment back in October 2016. He also received stem-cell treatment, with the hope of avoiding Tommy John surgery. That obviously didn’t happen, as he became a reclamation project in San Diego.

My primary concern right now is Lamet has the PRP injections, goes home, rests for 8 to 10 weeks, or whatever is prescribed, and it doesn’t work. Despite the reports that he’ll be ready to pitch well before spring training, don’t exactly comfort me. There’s an interesting article from Regenexx Des Moines that debunks the notion that PRP actually works because the severity of the injury is far too great to treat with PRP alone. Some need their own stem-cell treatment, like Richards.

I don’t have an overly optimistic feeling that this treatment will work for Lamet, and fear this may linger into next season. That said, the Padres should prepare themselves to avoid a repeat of the end of the 2020 regular season and postseason, being short-staffed. There are several serviceable candidates on the free-agent market to consider.

Obviously, Trevor Bauer will be the prize of the offseason, but some lesser-known, for lack of a better phrase to consider include:

Marcus Stroman

Stroman turns 30 in May and opted out this past season, so he should technically be fresh. In 2019, he spent the year split between Toronto and the New York Mets, posting a combined 3.22 ERA in 32 starts while fanning 159 batters in 184.1 innings.

Kevin Gausman

Gausman is not an attractive name, but he’s an efficient starter. He’ll turn 30 in January and spent the year with the Giants, posted a 3.62 ERA in 12 games, including 10 starts. He struck out 79 batters in 59.2 innings.

Jose Quintana

Quintana’s tenure with the Cubs didn’t go as planned, despite fanning 12 Baltimore Orioles in his debut back in 2017. Since then, it’s been a mixed bag, but he could be a serviceable pitcher that will eat some innings. He missed a decent portion of the 2020 season after cutting his finger while washing dishes (yes, I am serious).

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He turns 32 in January and posted a 4.50 ERA in 4 appearances, including 1 start. In 2019, he posted a 4.68 ERA in 31 starts while fanning 152 batters in 171.0 innings.