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Padres Preview: 06/01 vs. Reds

Walker Lockett will debut tonight vs. Cincinnati.

Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune

The Padres will continue the “last place tour” homestand by welcoming in the Cincinnati Reds, the team currently with the worst record in the National League (our Padres are third worst, for what that’s worth). Taking the hill for his major league debut is Walker Lockett.

Walker Lockett (2-5, 5.31 ERA in AAA) hasn’t done well so far while with the Chihuahuas, sporting an inflated ERA that could be taken with a grain of salt seeing that the PCL is a hitter’s league. A dive into the hard stats do show some trends for the 24-year-old righty: he’s thrown 59 13 innings so far this season in 10 starts, exceeding his injury-shortened 2017 campaign by 4 innings though he also started 10 games last year. This year Lockett has allowed 35 earned runs on 68 hits, about the same as he did in 2017. His walks have gone up; in a shortened 2017 he allowed 13 walks versus 18 so far in 2018. He is striking out more hitters this year, however: 2018 Walker has 50 strikeouts versus 33 last year. His HR/FB ratio isn’t amazing this year, sitting at 11.8% (8 HR allowed in 2018).

If stats aren’t your bag, here’s what to expect from Walker: he’s a sinker-slider pitcher with a four seam fastball that gets up to 94 mph. He uses the 91-93 mph sinker to induce grounders (he’s at a 43% clip this season). Though this call up is a head-scratcher for many fans (those who wanted a return of Luis Perdomo) it’s a chance to see what sort of commodity Lockett can be at the major league level despite his very pedestrian numbers in the high minors and a troubling injury history.

Facing Lockett is Tyler Mahle (3-6, 4.76 ERA) in only his 16th start in his MLB career (12th of this season). Mahle has never faced the Padres and is coming into tonight’s game allowing at least 4 earned runs in his last 3 games. Tyler does have a penchant for the strikeout that should keep the Friars careful in their plate discipline: he leads all MLB pitchers 23 years old or younger with 56 punchouts in 58 23 innings.

Tonight’s game starts up at 6:10 PM.

Game Time: 6:10 PM PST
TV: FSSD, Fox Sports Deportes (Spanish)
Radio: 97.3 (cah-rush cancer, Teddy), XEMO 860 (Español)