Blake Snell’s return shouldn’t keep MacKenzie Gore out of Padres’ rotation
By Rylie Smith
Blake Snell’s 2022 MLB debut may have hurt the game against the Phillies, but it could lead to a breakthrough for MacKenzie Gore.
On Wednesday night, the tables, unfortunately, turned for the San Diego Padres when the Philadelphia Phillies produced a 3-0 shoutout victory. Ironically, the Padres had produced the same victory over the Phillies the night before.
The pitching made the difference.
They sent Blake Snell in as a starter fresh off the Injured List. He gave up three runs within 3 2/3 innings and only produced five strikeouts. He’s starting the season on the regular rotation list, but his spot shouldn’t be guaranteed; while he was out, top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore proved he deserves a spot.
MacKenzie Gore has proven he shouldn’t be a bullpen pitcher
With a roster of talented pitchers, Snell needs to earn his starts. Gore was pushed into the bullpen upon Snell’s return, but he’s proven since his MLB debut that he’s among the top starting options on the roster. Over six games (five starts), he has a 2.17 ERA and 32 strikeouts across 29 innings. He’s only allowed seven earned runs, including one home run.
The Padres pitching staff has a collective 3.64 ERA, significantly better than the 3.83 league average. And with Fernando Tatis Jr. still on the IL, they need their pitching to continue to dominate to compensate for the diminished offense. Perhaps having Snell work his way back to the rotation from a relief role will enable him to get back on his feet. Gore has already made his case.