Padres starter Chris Paddack appears to be ready to come off the IL to start Monday’s game in Arizona, according to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Acee says that Padres manager Jayce Tingler didn’t confirm the plan, but then later listed Paddack as Monday’s starter on Twitter.
For Paddack, his third big league season has been a disappointing one, logging an ERA of 5.13 over 93 innings. That’s a spike from last year’s 4.73 and his 3.33 mark from 2019. His strikeout rate has also gone in the wrong direction. After a solid 26.9% rate in his debut season, it dropped to 23.7% last year and sits at 22.5% so far this year. However, his walk rate has stuck around 5% in every season, which is excellent. (MLB average is 8.7% this year.)
Despite those struggles, the team has certainly missed Paddack. Since the righty went on the shelf July 31st with an oblique issue, the team has been on a disastrous slide. They’ve gone 9-15 so far in the month of August, surrendering the final National League playoff spot to Cincinnati. During that time, the rotation was missing not only Paddack, but also Yu Darvish. They tried to patch over those absences with the addition of Jake Arrieta, only to see him land on the IL himself after just one start of 3 1/3 innings. With Darvish having already returned and Paddack on the way, that could allow the team to steady the ship and finish strong, as they try to retake the Reds over the season’s final weeks.
Other notes from the west…
- Rockies starter Jon Gray left last night’s start after 48 pitches. Manager Bud Black told reporters, including Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, that the move was precautionary and related to some forearm tightness. Nick Groke of The Athletic gets a bit more granular, explaining that the injured area appears to be away from the ulnar collateral ligament, hopefully negating the worst fears of Rockies fans. Though the extent of the injury remains to be seen, it makes sense for the club to be cautious, as they are 11 games out of a playoff spot. Gray is a free agent at year’s end, but the Rockies are reportedly hoping to sign him to an extension. They will also have to decide on whether or not to issue him a qualifying offer at the end of the season. Gray would surely warrant the offer if he’s healthy. Over 806 2/3 career innings, Gray has an ERA of 4.52 while pitching primarily in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in the league, producing 15.7 fWAR.
- Rangers infielder Andy Ibanez left last night’s game with left hamstring tightness, per Kennedi Landry of MLB.com. She quotes Rangers manager Chris Woodward as being “not optimistic” about the injury. Regardless of the eventual severity of the injury, the club has every reason to be cautious, as they have one of the worst records in the league and no shot at contending. If this is the end of the season for Ibanez, it will go down as a solid rookie campaign for the 28-year-old. He’s hit .260/.304/.415, wRC+ of 96, while splitting time between first, second and third base, as well as one game in left field.
- Shohei Ohtani was hit on the hand by a pitch in last night’s game, while serving as the designated hitter. However, he stuck around for the remainder of the contest and x-rays on the hand came back negative. Angels manager Jeff Madden told reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that Ohtani should be fine to make his scheduled start on Tuesday. That is good news for the club and baseball fans in general, as Ohtani is having the most unique and fascinating season that baseball has seen in quite some time, if not ever. He’s currently the MLB home run leader with 41, and has an overall slash line of .264/.363/.623, producing a wRC+ of 160 which is currently bested by only two other qualified hitters. (Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bryce Harper) All of that is combined with Ohtani’s 105 innings in the Angels’ starting rotation with an ERA of 3.00.
- The Astros could be getting a couple of players back this week. Jose Urquidy is pitching in a rehab game tonight, which could be his last before returning, according to Jake Kaplan of The Athletic. Urquidy has only been able to make 14 starts this season because of injuries but has been excellent when healthy, putting up an ERA of 3.38. It’s unclear who would be bumped from the rotation in his absence, but some have speculated that Luis Garcia could be an option. Garcia has already set a career high in innings pitched this year and has seen his results slip a bit recently. Since July 26th, he has an ERA of 4.22. The club has already moved another young starter, Cristian Javier, to the bullpen as a way to manage his workload. The Astros could also be welcoming Chas McCormick back later this week. General manager James Click told various reporters, including Mark Berman of Fox 26, that the outfielder could be back as soon as Friday. The club hasn’t suffered much in McCormick’s absence, given that Jake Meyers has been manning center field and has been on a tear. Since having his contract selected last month, in the first 20 games of his career, Meyers is slashing .323/.348/.523.