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2023 Padres Season Review: Matt Waldron and Pedro Avila

Looking back on Waldron and Avila’s 2023 seasons

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

2023 Regular Season Statistics

Matt Waldron (in majors): 0.1 fWAR, 8 G, 41.1 IP, 4.35 ERA, 1.234 WHIP, 31 K, 12 BB, 9 HR, 0 HBP

Pedro Avila (in majors): 0.6 fWAR, 14 G, 50.1 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.351 WHIP, 54 K, 25 BB, 3 HR, 5 HBP

Positives From This Season

Waldron and Avila had some really good appearances in the second half of the season for the Padres, putting themselves in a good spot to compete for one of the last rotation spots if injuries occur before the start of the 2024 season or at least be the first options in El Paso come Opening Day.

Waldron used his knuckle ball more often as he made more starts in the big leagues and allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his eight appearances. His final two outings were impressive (11.2 IP, 3 ER, 11 K), as he went deeper than he had gone in any of his previous six games and held opponents to a .191 average.

Avila performed better out of the bullpen than he did in the rotation but one of his starts was one he’ll always remember. On September 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies, the 26-year-old earned his first big league win of his career, going 6.2 innings and allowing just two hits and no runs in front of a loud and supportive crowd.

“That’s something that you hope for and dream for, and to be honest, I almost cried,” Avila told reporters after the game that night. In relief this season, Avila posted a 1.46 ERA in 24.2 innings.

Negatives From This Season

It’s not like this should be super surprising because Waldron is a knuckle ball pitcher, but he surrendered a home run in every major league outing this season. That can’t keep happening because not every home run is going to be a solo shot. Some of those will end up losing games.

Avila wasn’t dominant in the rotation, as he posted a 4.91 ERA in six starts. His WHIP was 1.675 as a starter and 1.014 as a reliever.