To this point, Adrian Morejon has primarily served as a reliever in his brief big league career. But on Monday, he’ll get the ball in the series opener against the San Francisco Giants, looking to take his first steps as a member of the Padres starting rotation.
Morejon has been one of the most talked about prospects in the organization ever since San Diego signed the lefty out of Cuba back in 2016. Still just 22 years of age, he’s raw – but could wind up playing a huge role for the Padres in 2021.
"“Very talented,” Blake Snell told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But he’s young. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to grow. There’s a lot there. It will take time, but he’ll be able to do it. Me being here, being able to watch him and help him a little, hopefully I can be able to help him hone his craft.”"
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With Mike Clevinger sidelined this year as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery and Dinelson Lamet ramping up following an injury of his own, Morejon has a huge opportunity early this season to, at the very least, force his way into the team’s long-term pitching plans.
Padres: Morejon gets his first shot
It’s not like there are a lot of holes in the team’s rotation after AJ Preller went out and traded for Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove this winter. But make no mistake – whether it’s out of the rotation or bullpen, Morejon will be a major piece of the puzzle for years to come.
Longevity will be the biggest hurdle to his success as a starter. The kid’s never even thrown 50 pitches in an MLB game, let alone do something like turn in a quality start. There’s going to be a learning curve – but his stuff is definitely good enough to play at the big league level. Nobody is questioning that.
So all eyes will be on Morejon Monday night at Petco Park as he looks to silence a Giants team that has seen veteran third baseman Evan Longoria get off to a hot start early in the season.