The Padres entered the season with all five starters under
age 28 and average age just over 24. While the staff lacks experience it has
performed better than most had expected going into the season. This was
especially true towards the start of the season while lately the rotation has
scuffled. The problem has been that our top two performers Strahm and Paddack
have been on innings limits while Lauer, Lucchesi, and Margevicius have been
Results So Far
So far this season Chris Paddack has put up 1.6 fWAR, Joey
Lucchesi 1.1, Eric Lauer .9, Matt Strahm .4, and Nick Margevicius -.1. More
recent addition Cal Quantrill has added .3 fWAR as well. In total Padre
starters have put up 4.1 fWAR good for 19th in the majors.
Lauer 71.2 IP (133.1 in 2018)
Lucchesi 72.1 IP (136.2 in 2018)
Margevicius 54 IP (135 in 2018)
Paddack 65.2 IP (90 in 2018)
Strahm 63.2 IP (75.2 in 2018)
Quantrill 66.2 (148 in 2018)
With the current state of the rotation it is likely that
Paddack will hit his season innings limit (approximately 120-140 innings)
before the season concludes. Strahm will likely face similar limitations as he
builds up endurance as a full time starter. Margevicius and Quantrill may end
up continuing to shuttle up and down from El Paso to keep the staff fresh but
conservative estimates for the remainder of the season would be between 75-90
additional innings per slot in the rotation. Looking to the future the starting
staff is unlikely to produce enough quality innings as things stand.
Fortunately, the Padres have some reinforcements on the way.
The Padres de facto ace in 2017, Lamet underwent Tommy John
surgery in March of 2018. He has started his rehab assignment (up to 30 days) on
June 10th and could be back in the rotation by the end of June.
One of the Padres top prospects entering the season, Allen
has had a tougher time in El Paso (5.15 ERA over 57.2 innings) after being the
Texas League Pitcher of the Year in 2018. The PCL has been particularly hitter
friendly this season which is likely due to the introduction of MLB baseballs.
These two starters can add some valuable innings as the
rotation continues to develop as the season goes on. It will be interesting to
see if Andy Green starts to use more unconventional pitcher utilization (the
opener or piggybacking) to make up for innings limits and avoid taxing the
bullpen. The alternative would be for the Padres to use some prospect capital
to bring in a controllable starter. Names bandied about have been Marcus
Stroman and Trevor Bauer both of who are under club control until the end of
2020. Other options could include Noah Syndergaard who hit the IL June 16th
or Max Scherzer if the Nationals decide to retool after a poor start to 2019.