Jered Weaver, Luis Perdomo, and Jhoulys Chacin have all been bitten by the first-inning bug. Something is going around the Padres’ pitching staff that has caused the starters to fall flat on their faces, and it stinks. With Trevor Cahill on the DL with a tender shoulder, the staff now turns to Jarred Cosart to try to get off on the right foot.
Jarred Cosart has been an enigmatic pitcher throughout his career. Once considered one of the better pitching prospects in the game, he’s bounced around the league as his stuff can be dazzling but consistency issues can be infuriating. When he’s on, the late movement in his fastball and his hard breaking stuff misses bats, but it seems like each outing ends with a series of flat pitches up and over the plate. Assigned to the bullpen to start the season and then winding up on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, Cosart now has a chance to grab a rotation spot if he can only find the consistency that’s been lacking to this point in his career. His start last week against the Brewers was promising, limiting the division leaders to only one run through five innings of work. A repeat performance sure would look good today.
Speaking of top pitching prospects, Robert Gsellman has been a favorite talking point of Mets fans for a while now. The latest long-haired hurler to join their staff was impressive in limited time last year, showing a heavy sinker and a wipeout slider that produced a ton of ground balls. This year he’s struggled both in the starting rotation and out of the bullpen. A recent Fangraphs article points out that the spin rate on his sinker and slider are down, and he’s lost some velocity as well, suggesting that fatigue or injury may be in play. He’ll get a chance to disprove that theory tonight.
The Padres have lost 15 of their 20 games in May to fall to the league’s cellar. If tanking is the goal, they’re on track... but it’s still nice to get a win once in a while. After some frustrating games where a bad start ruined an otherwise good game, these kids need a win to boost the morale a little. With the rookie Dinelson Lamet facing pseudo-ace Jakob DeGrom tomorrow, a win today would bring some much-needed confidence into the clubhouse.
Start time: 4:10PM PDT
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TV: Fox Sports San Diego