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Padres minor leagues: What now for MacKenzie Gore?

Should the Padres bring Gore up to the majors after Chris Paddack’s trip to the injured list and Blake Snell’s groin injury?

MLB: San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres’ top pitching prospect Mackenzie Gore had his debut for the Double-A San Antonio Missions last Saturday, having something to prove after he dropped from No. 6 to No. 58 in MLB Pipeline’s prospect rankings.

Gore was having a good game until the beginning of the sixth inning, when he walked three batters and got pulled. His final numbers were pretty decent, allowing only two runs with eight strikeouts and five walks. His fastball touched 97 mph and he had 55 strikes in 97 pitches.

We have to remember that he was supposed to be ready for a call-up to San Diego right before Triple-A season started, but he struggled with a 5.85 ERA in six outings and 20 innings. After missing some time due to a blister on his finger, he had to go to spring training complex in Arizona to work his mechanics.

Is it time to call him up to San Diego? After Blake Snell’s groin injury Sunday, the Padres on Monday placed Chris Paddack on the 10-day IL with right elbow inflammation.

The last pitchers who came straight from Double-A were not successful right away, but everyone expected them to be ready:

  • Luis Patiño was called up in August 2020, pitching every game but one from the bullpen. He posted a 5.19 ERA in 17⅓ innings, with 21 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .257 batting average. In Double-A Amarillo the year before, he tossed 7⅔ innings, allowing one earned run with 10 strikeouts.
  • Adrian Morejón was a call-up in July 2019. the No. 49 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, at the time. He was 0-4 with a 4.25 ERA with Amarillo Sod Poodles that year, with 44 strikeouts in 36 innings. With the Padres, he posted a 10.13 ERA in five games, two of which he started, and in eight innings he allowed fifteen hits and nine runs.

If Gore not get the call, he may be in line for a retunr to Triple-A El Paso, which plays through October 3.

Notable Padres prospects:

  • Infielder Eguy Rosario, San Diego’s No. 15 prospect and the Missions’ top-rated hitter, went 7 for 24 (.292) in the series against Frisco with a homer, three steals and four walks against nine strikeouts. Through the span of a month — from Aug. 12-Sept. 12 — Rosario hit .346 with a pair of home runs, eight steals and 14 walks to 19 strikeouts.
  • Outfielder Agustin Ruiz, who ranks No. 27 among Padres prospects, hit .286 in the series with two homers. In 29 games with the Missions, Ruiz has mashed six homers, making him San Antonio’s active leader with a home run every 19 at-bats.
  • Called up hours before the game, Kelvin Alarcon went 2 for 4 in his first outing with the Missions on Friday, with a two-run double in the fifth inning. The 22-year-old from Venezuela is playing at the Double-A level for the first time in his fifth professional season.