TODAY: Weathers fractured “a small accessory piece of bone in the back of his ankle,” Lin tweets, and the southpaw could be able to return before the end of July, though “his recovery will depend on pain tolerance.” On the plus side, Weathers is able to walk without any seeming ill effects just four days after his initial injury.
JULY 12: Lin reports that Weathers avoided a major injury and is expected to be out a matter of weeks rather than months. A specific diagnosis or timeline has yet to be announced by the club.
JULY 11, 7:50pm: Weathers’ knee and ankle look to be unharmed, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets, though the left-hander still has to undergo tests on his Achilles.
5:00pm: Weathers’ injury is actually to his right foot, according to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin (Twitter link).
4:49pm: Padres southpaw Ryan Weathers was removed from today’s game after suffering an apparent right knee injury. In the third inning, Weathers fielded a bunt grounder from Jon Gray of the Rockies and tried to tag Gray on the first base line, though Weathers appeared to jam his leg while taking an awkward step to avoid a full-on collision. Weathers was in obvious pain and needed to be helped off the field.
At the very least, Weathers looks slated for a trip to the injured list, and there would certainly appear to be worry that the injury is serious enough to end his season. Today marked Weathers’ 11th start of 17 overall appearances for the 21-year-old this season, as the rookie left-hander has quickly become an important part of San Diego’s pitching mix. Weathers has a 2.91 ERA through 58 2/3 innings, delivering good numbers despite allowing a lot of hard contact and only a 17.87% strikeout rate.
Most importantly for the Padres, however, Weathers has been able to deliver results and fill innings amidst a number of other injury absences within the rotation. Adrian Morejon was lost to Tommy John surgery in April and Dinelson Lamet’s arm issues have limited him to 34 1/3 innings. Blake Snell and Yu Darvish are also currently on the 10-day IL with more minor injuries, though the Padres will surely welcome the All-Star break to get their pitching staff figured out.
Assuming Darvish and Snell are able to return in short order, an IL absence for Weathers will leave the Padres with only four starters (Darvish, Snell, Chris Paddack, Joe Musgrove) and not much in the way of experienced depth. There is some hope that Lamet might be able to return relatively soon after the break, but that is no guarantee given how Lamet has been hampered by injuries all year. While the team might turn to bullpen games or an opener/bulk pitcher format in the short term, a Weathers injury will only exacerbate the Padres’ need for starting pitching help at the trade deadline.