Padres Face Early Rotation Woes

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Luis Perdomo

We haven’t reached the 2-week point of the season, yet the Padres are already facing two injuries to their initial starting rotation. Padres beat writer Dennis Lin reports that Luis Perdomo will be placed on the 10-day DL with “posterior shoulder inflammation”. He will join starter Trevor Cahill on the disabled list. Cahill was sidelined on April 6th with lower back tightness. The Padres are not very deep in the starting pitcher spot to begin with and shall be hard pressed to replace the veteran Cahill and young starter Perdomo.

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Trevor Cahill

Jarred Cosart pitched well on Monday, slotting in for Cahill and throwing 4 scoreless innings. Fortunately for the Padres, it is possible that Cahill (10-day DL) can return for his next start, easing the uncertainty in the rotation. Cosart started 13 games for the Marlins and Padres in 2016, posting an ERA of 6.00 and 38 strikeouts in 57 innings. While Cosart has posted less than stellar numbers in the past, he is experienced and capable of eating some innings.

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Zach Lee

25-year old RHP Zach Lee, started for Perdomo on Tuesday.  Zach held the Rockies scoreless for 5 1/3 innings earning his first big league win. Lee has 1 previous MLB start, and described his debut as “bittersweet“, allowing 7 runs in 4 and 2/3rds of an inning. Over the course of his minor league career, Lee has posted an ERA of 4.29 in 149 starts.  Zach was a first-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2010 amateur draft. According to Brooks Baseball, Lee throws 6 pitches and had a 20% whiff rate on his cutter in a very small reviewed sample size. Lee was recalled in the corresponding move to placing Cahill on the DL.

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Jake Esch

Dennis Lin reports that the corresponding move to placing Perdomo on the DL will be recalling Jake Esch from the minors. Esch, a 27-year-old, RHP was claimed off of waivers from the Marlins. Jake throws 4 pitches and has a 4.02 ERA over 6 minor league seasons. He has made 3 major league starts with an ERA of 5.54. In his Padres debut, Esch faced two batters and walked both of them.

Early indications are that Lee and Esch could both be in the mix for starts, along with Tyrell Jenkins and Walker Lockett, both currently with AAA El Paso. Christian Friedrich is definitely a better option, however, he is sidelined with elbow tenderness.

Best case scenario here seems to be that Cahill can return for his next start, possibly bumping Cosart into Perdomo’s rotation spot. Additionally, the Padres received good news last week, when it was reported that Christian Freidrich does not have any tendon damage in his elbow, although no timetable is currently available.

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