San Diego Padres: Latest Drew Pomeranz injury update proving A.J. Preller screwed up again

San Diego Padres pitcher Drew Pomeranz
San Diego Padres pitcher Drew Pomeranz / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In a season littered with disappointment, the San Diego Padres received yet another blow to their fortunes with the news that lefty reliever Drew Pomeranz will be sidelined after undergoing "cleanup surgery in his elbow."

Pomeranz, 34, was thought to be making his return to the club in 2023 after appearing at Padres' spring training and throwing bullpens in Arizona. Instead, he'll spend the foreseeable future recovering from this setback.

This is hardly the news Padres' GM A.J. Preller wanted to receive, especially since it was he who inked Pomeranz to a four-year, $34 million as a free agent after the latter's breakout season in 2019 as a reliever with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Drew Pomeranz signing looking like yet another mistake for Padres' GM A.J. Preller

In reality, however, this signing has already been a failure. And given Preller's track record over the years with player acquisitions? This is far from a welcome development.

Pomeranz has made just 47total relief appearances for the Padres since being signed prior to 2020. For most relievers, that's a figure they would reach in half a season, but injuries have sadly dragged the veteran southpaw down.

The silver lining? Pomeranz is effective when he does pitch, as he posted a 1.62 ERA in those 47 appearances across the shortened 2020 season and part of 2021. However, that's no consolation when he has since missed the second half of 2021, all of 2022 and now, most of 2023.

Sometimes, the best quality is availability, and it's hard to justify a free agent signing that has produced such limited results to this point.

Truthfully, the Padres could've benefitted greatly from presence of Pomeranz as the bullpen largely struggles to get the ball to closer Josh Hader these days. Fortunately, the team does expects to get setup man Robert Suarez back at some point, and perhaps Pomeranz can target a late-season recovery to help the Padres' bullpen reach full strength.