One of the underlying themes of this season for the San Diego Padres is balancing the workload on their pitching staff.
Their starting rotation includes Matt Strahm, who set a career high in MLB innings-pitched last year (61.1) as a reliever. He has pitched over 100 innings twice, in 2015 and 2016 for the Kansas City Royals’ minor-league organizations.
Chris Paddack, who now looks like a potential ace of the staff long-term, has never thrown more than 90 innings in an entire season. One month into this one, he’s thrown 27. He can expect this to be the heaviest workload he’s ever seen should he stay healthy through June/July.
Add in that the overall youth and inexperience of the starting staff has lead to a fair share of short outings, and more than a couple of quick hooks from manager Andy Green. That taxes the bullpen.
Which leads us to...
Cal Quantrill, the Padres’ No. 12 prospect and 2016 first-rounder, will make his big league debut on Wednesday night. Sounds like a temporary 6-man rotation as the Friars look to ease the burden on their young arms. https://t.co/7g07pnWNMU— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 30, 2019
A 6-man rotation! That’s certainly one way to keep Paddack and Strahm from burning out too quickly.
Quantrill was taken by the Padres with the 8th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, right around the time the team made it obviously that it was going to tank for a chance to build a contender. Because of that, there’s always been a lot of hope tied to Quantrill, even going back to some thinking that he could be the eventual ace of the staff when he was drafted.
The best way I can describe Quantrill’s minor-league path is that it hasn’t gone as hoped, but it hasn’t been bad either. With the exception of a brief stint in Fort Wayne, Quantrill has never been dominant but has always been solid.
He spent most of last season in AA before finishing the year in AAA. He started this season in AAA and got torn to shreds in his first start, giving up 8 runs (6 earned) in 3 innings. Here’s what he’s done since:
- 5.2 innings, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB
- 5.2 innings, 2 ER, 7 K, 2 BB
- 6 innings, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB
- 4.2 innings, 2 ER, 5 K, 3 BB
Model of consistency. Good, but not dominant. That looks like Cal Quantrill. It also looks like someone that won’t struggle to deliver similar stat lines at the big-league level. Tomorrow in Atlanta against the Braves, we’ll get our first real look at him.