Running contrary to recent reports linking the Padres to starters Matt Boyd and Noah Syndergaard, MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell today indicated that the team “seems unlikely” to “push” for either pitcher. While Padres general manager A.J. Preller is willing to add a controllable starter, he’s not “committed” to doing so, Cassavell writes.
It was just this week that we heard San Diego was “evaluating” Detroit’s Boyd, and they were similarly said to have “checked in” on the availability of the Mets’ long-maned Syndergaard. Their courtship of such controllable, proven starting options dates back to at least last year’s trade deadline. However, as Cassavell points out, the team is internally striking a posture of confidence in regard to their stable of in-house starters.
“It’s the most upside, from a talent perspective, that we’ve had in the rotation,” manager Andy Green told Cassavell in reference to the Padres current big league staff. Though San Diego’s rotations have hardly been the envy of baseball during Green’s four-year stint at the helm, he may not be entirely off-base in evaluating its current staff as a promising group.
Sophomores Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi–though perhaps not perfect exemplars of “hot talent lava”–have continued to pitch effectively in their second full campaigns (3.82 and 3.75 FIPs, respectively); rookie Chris Paddack has, for his part, produced some enviable underlying stats in his first 15 career starts (9.51 K/9 and 1.97 BB/9 in 82.1 innings). Meanwhile, the whiff-inducing Dinelson Lamet was recently welcomed back to the rotation after a 2018 Tommy John procedure, and there is optimism that fellow TJ survivor Garrett Richards could bolster the rotation come September. Generally respected young arms like Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen remain on hand to provide innings, and top prospect MacKenzie Gore was recently moved up to Double-A Amarillo–though the implication of a possible late-season promotion for Gore is purely my addition.
As Cassavell notes, Padres starters have amassed a collective 4.41 ERA on the season, which ranks 14th among big league teams. At 45-46, San Diego sits just two games back in the NL Wild Card standings, so it will be interesting to follow whether the Padres are indeed content with this current group, or if they make yet another win-now gesture in pursuit of their first postseason appearance since 2006.