Padres optimistic on Dinelson Lamet’s health after bullpen

He’s not back to full-bore yet, but so far, it’s been all green lights for San Diego Padres right-hander Dinelson Lamet  this spring.

According to MLB.com, Lamet threw 15 pitches in a simulate game on Tuesday and hit 96 MPH with his fastball. Of course, the question is the impact of his slider on the health of his arm. He’s been throwing the pitch in side sessions – but is yet to unveil it with hitters in the box.

“Facing hitters actually made me feel more comfortable, after not having faced them for five months and not really having as much activity,” Lamet said. “Being able to face them and see a hitter in the box helped, actually.”

I feel like I’ve written about Lamet too many times already this spring, but it’s because he has the potential to be a huge difference-maker for San Diego. We know about all the arms AJ Preller added to the mix this offseason but having a healthy Lamet in the mix would change everything.

Padres hoping Lamet can stay healthy

Last season, the season didn’t end the way Lamet wanted. Injuries ended his 2020 early and kept him from being a factor come October. But what he did up to that point was outstanding.

The right-hander made a dozen starts and dominated to the tune of a 2.07 ERA and 2.48 FIP. He slashed his HR/9 and walk rate while maintaining a strikeout rate of north of 12 per nine. At age 27, he was a bit of a late bloomer but, make no mistake, he has all the tools to be a difference-maker.

While everything has been promising this spring on the health front for Lamet, he and the team are taking it day-by-day in hopes of having him at 100 percent for the bulk of the season.

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“It’s going to be an ongoing discussion with our medical team, and I think that’s a good thing,” Lamet said. “We have really good communication on the subject, and we’re taking everything day by day. I know I’m going to be ready to help in the season. But at the same time I want to make sure that I’m progressing well. That’s really the stance that we’ve been taking.”