After a flurry of offseason acquisitions, the Padres entered the season with arguably one of the deepest pools of rotation candidates in the game. But just a month into the season, even the Padres are already looking at a bullpen game. Miguel Diaz will be the nominal starter today, but the 26-year-old right-hander has been working 3-4 inning stints at the Padres’ alternate site in preparation, writes Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has appeared in 47 games for the Padres going back to 2017 and only three times as a starter.
In the near term, the Padres are holding out hope that either Ryan Weathers or Dinelson Lamet will be ready to start on Tuesday, adds Acee. Said manager Jayce Tingler, “Both of them were pretty aggressive with their bullpens today and came out reporting feeling well. We think that’s a good step for both guys. We’ll see how they respond tomorrow and go from there.”
Lamet has made just one start his year, going two scoreless before being removed because of forearm soreness. Weathers, 21, was the youngest starting pitcher in baseball, and he’d been nothing short of brilliant before leaving his last start with arm soreness. The young southpaw has a 0.55 ERA/3.23 FIP over 16 1/3 innings combined out of the pen and rotation.
There remains no word on Chris Paddack, who was placed on the injured list without an injury designation. Presumably, that points to something Covid-19-related (be it a positive test, close contact or self-reported symptoms). That could mean a quick turnaround for Paddack as we have seen with a few players this year, but only time will tell. If Paddack isn’t able to return shortly, the Friars hope that Lamet and Weathers could fill out the rotation. Otherwise, Diaz may be in for more than just a spot start.