NEW YORK -- The Padres' youth movement gets yet another boost on Thursday when 24-year-old right-hander Dinelson Lamet is slated to make his Major League debut with a start against the Mets at Citi Field.
The Padres' No. 10 prospect will be taking the rotation place of Jered Weaver, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday with hip inflammation. The Padres will make a corresponding roster move on Thursday to clear room for Lamet, which will give them a full 40-man roster.
In eight starts this season for Triple-A El Paso, Lamet has posted a 3.23 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 39 innings. Lamet has posted six starts this season in which he has allowed one run or fewer, with the other two seeing him give up five and six earned runs.
"He's thrown the ball very well in Triple-A," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Good stuff, live arm. He's got the kind of stuff that can shut an offense down, and if he's in the zone, it's going to be really good. ... We feel really good about how he's throwing the ball, and it was the right opportunity to give him a chance."
Lamet's Thursday start means right-hander Trevor Cahill, who is battling a right-shoulder strain, will not return from the disabled list after the minimum 10 days. An MRI on Cahill's shoulder showed no structural damage, but he received a cortisone injection and will be shut down 10-14 days before he begins throwing again.
"With the soreness that he feels, they don't think it's going to be anything that lasts too terribly long," Green said. "Him having the assurance that there's nothing wrong structurally will give him the confidence to get throwing again."
As for Lamet, there have been questions about whether his two-pitch mix might be better suited for a Major League bullpen. His fastball and slider are both rated very highly. But he's worked to incorporate a changeup this season, and the organization has been impressed with its development.
Green noted that the most important aspect of Lamet's game is his control. His fastball sits in the upper 90s and perfectly complements a hard-biting slider.
Lamet struggled to find that control in two Spring Training appearances with the big league club. He walked five hitters in one inning and allowed four runs. Since he was sent to the Minors in early March, however, Lamet has improved his control a bit.
"He's not a guy that's going to be dotting the outside corner all day," Green said. "He's got 97, and with his 97, he's got to be in the strike zone. If he's in the strike zone, he's going to win, even if he's missing his spot. As alive as his slider is, he's going to win, even if he's missing his spot. He's got margin for error because his stuff is so good."