Having a healthy Cy Young contender from a year ago in the middle of the starting rotation would certainly represent a best case scenario for San Diego. I’m talking, of course, about right-hander Dinelson Lamet.
The Padres hurler broke out in a big way last season and wound up finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young race, trailing only new teammate Yu Darvish, recent Dodgers acquisition Trevor Bauer and Jacob deGrom. While Darvish and Bauer appear to be 100 percent and ready to rock heading into 2021, the status of Lamet is far less certain.
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Here’s the latest from AJ Cassavell of MLB.com:
"The Padres know as much regarding Lamet as they did five months ago. He missed the postseason because of an injury to his right elbow/biceps area. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in October. The Padres are hopeful he won’t require surgery, but they privately acknowledge they won’t know for sure until he returns to game action."
Last year, Lamet made a dozen starts spanning 69 innings while working to a 2.09 ERA and 2.48 FIP. Of course, a late season injury cost him a shot at October – and that same arm injury remains a concern for the righty and the organization even now.
Padres need a healthy Dinelson Lamet to match the Dodgers’ staff
Look. If this guy is healthy, the Padres’ rotation can go toe-to-toe with the Dodgers’. There. I said it. But without him, while it’s certainly still possible given the insane depth San Diego boasts arms-wise, it’s far from a guarantee.
AJ Preller did everything he could to prepare this roster for a potential loss of Lamet. He brought in Darvish, a former Cy Young winner in Blake Snell and right-hander Joe Musgrove. Chris Paddack returns looking to silence his own critics and then you get into the prospects, all chomping at the bit to get a shot to make a name for themselves this season.
Again, there’s no new news as far as Lamet goes. But we could get an answer pretty quickly once pitchers and catchers report to camp next week. Once he’s back facing hitters and starting to ramp up the intensity, it sounds like the team will have more clarification regarding the 28-year-old.