San Diego Padres: 4 player moves A.J. Preller likely regrets

Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Guardians v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
2 of 4
Washington Nationals starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore
Washington Nationals starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

MacKenzie Gore traded to the Washington Nationals

Michael Wacha has been the lone bright spot of this offseason additions, but he is sidelined with shoulder discomfort. The injury has forced him to miss multiple starts, and no timetable has been determined for his return to action.

The Padres have limited pitching options if someone in the rotation cannot make their scheduled start. It would be nice to have MacKenzie Gore in the spot-starter role. He could provide length in quality starts. Instead, Gore was shipped to the Washington Nationals in the Juan Soto blockbuster trade last summer.

At the time of the trade, Gore was on the injured list with elbow soreness. He was in the midst of decent rookie campaign. Gore recorded a 4.50 ERA and struck out 72 batters in 70.0 innings pitched. He missed bats and kept the baseball (2.3%) in the ballpark. The lone trouble spot was his inconsistency in throwing strikes (37 walks). The Friar Faithful loved witnessing him learning his trade with each start.

Gore has taken his game to the next level in becoming a big league starting pitcher. In 29 major league starts, Gore has pitched to a 4.16 ERA (3.89 ERA with the Nats), fanned 26.1% of the batters he faced and induced more groundball outs (40.0%) than most MLB starters. Gore is more effective when throwing his fastball, curve and slider for strikes. It has neutralized right-handed hitters to an ineffective .235 BA.

If he continues at this pace, Gore could become a future ace of a starting rotation.