The San Diego Padres enter Friday night’s three-game set in San Francisco with a record three games under .500. Following the Dodgers series on Thursday night, it was known that Joe Musgrove will start on Saturday but there wasn’t a Friday starter known yet.
Now we know—it will be Pedro Avila. The 24-year-old was starting games in Double-A before getting the call, pitching to a 4.64 ERA in 52.1 innings. He spent some time in Triple-A this year as well but he pitched 30 fewer innings in El Paso than he has in San Antonio.
Avila does have major league experience—it was a spot start on April 11, 2019 at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went 5.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. The Padres are lucky to get four or five innings out of Avila tonight and Craig Stammen, Pierce Johnson, Nabil Crismatt, and Javy Guerra should all be options to come in out of the bullpen.
Avila is starting tonight because the Padres simply don’t have any other options. Blake Snell is out with a groin injury. Chris Paddack was shut down with a UCL sprain. Yu Darvish just pitched in the last series but he’s also on the IL with a left hip injury.