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Evaluating Chris Paddack’s 2021 season

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Chris Paddack had another up and down season, which leaves him in a sticky spot going forward

Houston Astros v San Diego Padres Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres want Chris Paddack to be a part of their 2022 rotation so bad but he might not be a part of it—at least for the entirety of next season—if he has another up and down season like he had in 2021.

There were instances where it looked like Paddack was back to being the 2019 frontline-caliber starter. He went a stretch of four appearances in May where he allowed one or no runs in every start.

But to most fans, there were more bumpy starts than good ones. Some of those bumpy starts that fans remember were April 20 against Milwaukee and July 7 against Washington. In those starts, Paddack gave up a combined 13 runs in seven innings of work.

Paddack admitted at times that he was letting his mind get to him while on the mound instead of just pitching and being confident. For anyone who’s watched every Paddack start in his Padres career, we know how valuable he can be to the Padres when he feels confident on the bump. It’s just a matter of him doing it consistently.

And that brings us to next year’s rotation situation. I’m sure I’ll get more into the rotation options later in the winter but there’s a surplus of options heading into next year’s Spring Training (as currently constructed). Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Mike Clevinger, Ryan Weathers, Adrian Morejon, and possibly even Dinelson Lamet will all be rotation options along with Paddack. If Lamet tries to start again, that’s eight pitchers fighting for five spots.

You’d have to figure that the rotation won’t go down in shambles for the second straight year, so Paddack could find himself on the outside looking in if he doesn’t give San Diego more consistent quality starts.

There were flashes of greatness from the 25-year-old but he still hasn’t been able to put it all together for a full season since his rookie year. Let’s hope we see this type of Paddack more often in 2022!