Hello again, Friar Faithful! The Padres took the loss last night against the Giants, 7-3. But to be honest, the score is really secondary, as RHP Dinelson Lamet made his first start of the spring. Easily the most consequential start by a Padres pitcher so far this spring, Lamet look good in his lone inning of work. Throwing 12 pitches against the Giants, Lamet allowed only 1 hit for a home run off a mistake fastball, while mixing in his changeup and slider. Lamet hit 98 mph on the gun with his fastball, but velocity wasn’t Lamet’s goal, focusing primarily on his mechanics.
Lamet was followed by LHP Adrian Morejon, who continued his trend of both tantalizing and frustrating with his performance. Morejon went 3.1 innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 BBs for 2 runs (1 earned) while K-ing 6. While that sounds like a perfectly fine outing, our own BarryAZ noted that Morejon struggled repeating his delivery last night, particularly after the 3rd inning, where Morejon ran into some trouble. The 3.1 innings pitched does mark Morejon’s longest outing of the spring, as he threw 69 total pitches.
The Bullpen then followed Morejon, going for a combined 3.2 innings, with most of the damage coming against Keone Kela, the only arm that’s projected to make Opening Day roster. Kela allowed 3 hits for 3 runs (all earned) with only 1 K, the first time he’s allowed a run this spring.
Over on the position side of things, Wil Myers continued his strong spring. Wil went 2-3, including an oppo shot in the 4th inning, his 4th homer of the spring. He’s batting .400/.417/.771 on the spring in his 35 ABs.
Unfortunately, that was the only offense the team generated until the back-ups came in later in the game. CJ Abrams, continuing his run of success by singling in a run in the 8th inning, bringing his spring totals to .279/.326/.488 over 43 ABs. One more run came across on a passed ball, but that’s all she wrote.
Let’s get into news and notes from the game.
- As mentioned above, Dinelson Lamet looked sharp in his spring debut, save for 1 mistake pitch. Now comes the important part: how he feels after pitching competitively for the first time since injuring his arm late last season. “I feel like I achieved everything I wanted to,” Lamet said through an interpreter. “You’re always going to want to be back out there, but at the same time, it’s been important to recognize that this is a process that’s going to take its time and it’s going to take its due course,” Lamet said. “One of the biggest things is not having a step in the wrong direction.” Given the limited number of spring games remaining, it’s likely Lamet heads to the Alt Site to begin the year, but still, an awfully good sign for Lamet’s return to form this year.
- Like I posted yesterday, we can all collectively breath a little easier now. Fernando Tatis Jr. came into the complex in high spirits yesterday after straining his left shoulder reaching for a ground ball on Tuesday, going so far as to lobby manager Jayce Tingler to add him to the lineup. It’s not just us fans who can breathe easier; even his teammates were hoping all was well with the young phenom. “‘I hope he’s faking it.’ That’s what went through my mind,” said outfielder Tommy Pham of Tatis’ injury. “He’s such a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish here. Not too many guys have his skill set and can impact the game like Tati can.” Tingler was complimentary of Tatis’ cautious approach during Spring Training, saying the Padres’ star likely would have played through the injury if it occurred during the regular season. “Right now, he’s being very mature, very responsible, understands the timeline of where we’re at,” Tingler said. “I think it’s good for him to say something right now.” Despite the setbacks, Tatis has played well this spring, hitting .391/.440/.652 with 2 home runs in 10 games.
- Despite the struggles he’s experienced this spring, the Padres are not the only believers in INF Ha-Seong Kim. In fact, MLB.com lists Kim as one of the pre-season favorites for the NL Rookie of the Year award. While it’s not clear yet where Kim will play to get his at-bats, it’s clear the team is committed to getting the KBO product his share of opportunities. As such, MLB.com’s Jim Callis can see Kim posting a .275/.350/.450 line this year with about 15 homers and steals a piece.
- The SD-UT’s Kevin Acee notes that RHP Chris Paddack continues to work to return to form. Paddack pitched in a sim game Tuesday, allowing him to focus on the mental aspect of pitching. Specifically, Paddack is working on quieting the little voice in his mind about what pitch to throw, the doubt from fans he allowed to permeate his consciousness last season, the tiny easing on the accelerator that can be the difference between an out and a hit in the big leagues. Working on the back fields, where it’s virtually silent, Paddack was able to do just that, attacking hitters with his fastball, setting up his changeup, and throwing his curve early in counts for strikes. He even flashed his cutter several times. Paddack worked 5 scoreless innings in 73 pitches while striking out 6, allowing 3 hits, walking 2 and hitting a batter (barely). The outing is a continuation of the work Paddack started during the offseason, as he worked to clear some of the 25 acres he purchased and plans to build on this offseason, just to clear his mind of distractions.
- The battle for the team’s final roster spot continues, though it appears Jorge Mateo has the lead. Mateo started last night at SS in place of FTJ, his 5th position so far this spring. He doubled and walked last night as well, and has hit in his past 6 games, upping his on-base percentage to .448 over a team-high 58 plate appearances so far this spring.
- In injury news, CF Trent Grisham once again hit on the field Wednesday and is believed to return to action soon (he hasn’t played since straining his hamstring back on 11 March). C Austin Nola has been hitting off a tee and doing soft toss in addition to participating in defensive drills the past few days. The hope is he can take BP by Friday and get in the final couple spring games. RHP Austin Adams threw 15 pitches in a live batting practice, including his slider several times (Adams has not pitched in a game since 7 March while dealing with elbow inflammation). LHP Matt Strahm, working back from October patellar tendon repair, played catch Wednesday and continues to progress toward what might be a bullpen session before the end of the month.