Padres know MacKenzie Gore has work to do before he comes up

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Even with the array of injuries we’ve seen this season, the San Diego Padres have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the pitching staff. Headlined by Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell, the rotation ranks among the best in baseball. And there’s more to come on the horizon.

We could talk about all kinds of guys – from Mike Clevinger, who will return to the team in 2022, to young arms like Ryan Weathers and Adrian Morejon, the latter of whom is lost for the year due to Tommy John. The point here is that whether you’re talking about this season or looking long-term, the outlook is bright for the Padres.

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But perhaps the most obvious and well-known example of the team’s strong position on the pitching front is top prospect MacKenzie Gore, who’s one of the best young arms in all of baseball. Before he can bring it to the big league level, though, the young lefty has some work to do at Triple-A.

At El Paso, Gore will have to focus on being more consistent. His delivery can lead to him losing control and missing his spots – and you can’t afford those types of missteps when the best hitters in the game are standing in the batter’s box.

Baseball America (subscription required) talked to MLB scouts, who tapped several Padres prospects as guys turning heads heading into the 2021 MiLB season – including Gore – and noted that all eyes will be on the southpaw to see if he can thrive in the hitter-friendly Triple-A West this year.

Padres want to do what they can to let MacKenzie Gore develop

This week, the Padres needed a fill-in starter – but didn’t go to Gore. That tells you all you need to know about how the organization views him at this point. As high as they are on him (and make no mistake, they remain very high on Gore, they’re cognizant of his faults and are going to do what they need to make sure he’s settled in for the long haul.

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If the injuries keep piling up, though, we’ll have to see what AJ Preller and the front office decide to do. Do they continue to prioritize Gore’s long-term success and development or do they perhaps rush him to keep the staff and their 2021 championship hopes afloat?