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Paddack: “I’m missing that one more piece”

Rookie pitcher discusses frustrations with Union-Tribune

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

In an interesting profile with the Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, Padres rookie Chris Paddack gives insight on what, in his estimation, is holding him back from becoming a truly top-flight starting pitcher. From the article:

“I’m missing that one more piece,” Paddack said this week. “You’re talking about six to eight pitches a game. … That’s the difference in three runs, six innings, quality start, give your team a chance to win. Six to eight pitches. You step away from your start and tell yourself, ‘Six pitches. That’s all it is?’ ”

Paddack’s frustration is understandable. Last we saw him, the young Texan was torched for 6 runs in 4 innings at Dodger Stadium. His flirtation with a curveball—his presumptive “third pitch”—remains a relevant topic of conversation.

Still, as Acee points out, Paddack has logged a 0.93 WHIP in his first 104.1 career innings—good enough for second-lowest among qualifying major league starters.

The article is well worth a read, and also includes some interesting quotes from Darren Balsley on the organizational philosophy being relayed to young pitchers like Paddack and Matt Strahm.