Paddack continues push for Padres rotation

March 4th, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Chris Paddack continues to make his pitch for a spot in the Padres' rotation.

Sunday's pitch was a curveball.

Paddack, ranked No. 34 among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects, was charged with two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings in the Padres' 11-3 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium. The 23-year-old right-hander walked one batter and struck out three.

“I felt good about him today,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He threw quite a few more curveballs than he is accustomed to throwing, and you see that kind of stuff early in spring, and he threw some good ones. It was good to see him in tough spots and battle out of all of them.”

Where Paddack starts the season is to be determined. Last season, he pitched 90 innings between Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. Paddack missed the entire 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery, and he’s never thrown more than 90 innings.

“The biggest thing for me today that I was pleased with was being to throw 0-0 curveball for strikes and being able to trust myself to go 3-2 changeup,” Paddack said. “I was very pleased with a lot of stuff, and I tend to stay away from a lot of the negative, but there is some things I need to work on. I’ll use these next four days before my next start to prepare myself and continue to do what I am doing. What I like to say is, ‘Four days of work and one day of fun.’”

He allowed one hit and one run in two innings in his previous Cactus League start against the Brewers, striking out four and walking one.

Tatis gets reps

Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres' No. 1 prospect, is vying for a spot on the Major League roster and will continue to see lots of action in Cactus League play.

He’s appeared in seven of club’s nine games this spring.

“He’s one of our guys. He’s out there like most 19 to 24-year-olds are,” Green said. “We gave him one full day off a couple of days ago where he didn’t play and went to the game in tennis shoes and knew he wasn’t playing.”

Tatis went 0-for-3 against the Rangers on Sunday to snap a five-game hitting streak. Overall, he has five hits in 17 at-bats with two home runs and three RBIs. He’s also scored five runs.

Padres No. 3 prospect Luis Urias has played in six games this spring. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored on Sunday and has five hits and one home run in Cactus League play.

“All those guys that are young guys, they play a lot,” Green said.

Padres in Mexico

A group of Padres prospects are scheduled to play a pair of exhibition games at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, the new ballpark in Mexico City and home to the Diablos Rojos, later this month.

The stadium is named after Diablos owner Alfredo Harp Helu of Mexico City, who is also part owner of the Padres.

The exhibition games will mark the latest in a long line of travels to Mexico.

The club played the Mets in 1996 in Monterrey in the first regular-season series played outside the mainland United States or Canada, and it opened the '99 season in Monterrey against the Rockies. Three years ago, Padres and Astros played a Spring Training series in Mexico City, and the Padres and the Dodgers played in the Mexico Series in Monterrey last May.

The Padres have also hosted the Diablos Rojos in exhibition games at Petco Park.

Worth noting

Travis Jankowski was escorted into the clubhouse by a trainer in the third inning after diving for a ball and landing awkwardly on his glove hand.

“He’s going to get his wrist looked at, and he’s having some imaging done,” Green said. “Hopefully he’s OK. He’s definitely in pain.”

Up next

The Padres will send Joey Lucchesi to the mound at 12:10 p.m. PT on Monday against the Indians at Peoria Sports Complex. Matt Strahm, Eric Yardley, Gerardo Reyes and Tyler Higgins are also scheduled to pitch.