Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Lauer, other prospects could make impact soon

MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If this was the final turn through the rotation for the three big-name pitching prospects in Padres camp, they certainly left a positive impression -- and, perhaps, a reminder that they could be back with the big league club soon.

Earlier this week, No. 4 prospect Cal Quantrill, according to MLB Pipeline, tossed two scoreless innings to finish a win over Kansas City. (He has already been reassigned to Minors camp.) On Friday, No. 9 prospect Joey Lucchesi was dominant over three shutout frames. On Saturday, the Indians sent the bulk of their Major League lineup to the Peoria Sports Complex to face No. 13 prospect Eric Lauer. The 22-year-old left-hander more than held his own, matching Lucchesi with three scoreless frames in an eventual 8-8 tie.

View Full Game Coverage

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If this was the final turn through the rotation for the three big-name pitching prospects in Padres camp, they certainly left a positive impression -- and, perhaps, a reminder that they could be back with the big league club soon.

Earlier this week, No. 4 prospect Cal Quantrill, according to MLB Pipeline, tossed two scoreless innings to finish a win over Kansas City. (He has already been reassigned to Minors camp.) On Friday, No. 9 prospect Joey Lucchesi was dominant over three shutout frames. On Saturday, the Indians sent the bulk of their Major League lineup to the Peoria Sports Complex to face No. 13 prospect Eric Lauer. The 22-year-old left-hander more than held his own, matching Lucchesi with three scoreless frames in an eventual 8-8 tie.

View Full Game Coverage

"Those are three guys that have every opportunity to impact us sooner rather than later," Padres manager Andy Green said.

Realistically, none of the three entered camp with a serious shot at the rotation. It's possible Lauer and Lucchesi remain for one more appearance, but they're destined for Minor League camp soon enough. All three -- plus No. 14 prospect Jacob Nix, who missed the early stages of camp with an ankle injury -- made the jump to Double-A San Antonio last year. They have work to do before they earn a callup.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"We're pretty much on the same track, and that allows us to kind of stick together even more," Lauer said. "We know that as long as we keep pushing each other and get better together, we're all going to have nice long big league careers. Hopefully soon."

In need of pitching this offseason, the Padres shied away from signing any long-term free-agent options. That decision was made, in part, with the hopes that the pitchers in their deep farm system would eventually seize those opportunities.

Quantrill, Lauer, Lucchesi and Nix have been placed on similar paths to the big leagues. That's mostly coincidence, but it also serves to create healthy competition among the group.

"Competition's great for everybody," Green said. "That's how you raise it to another level. There's not nine spots in the rotation, so they're going to come up one at a time. When? Who knows. But they're very much in our thoughts and minds going into the season."

Video: SD@KC: Quantrill retires O'Hearn to seal the win

Their first big league camp was meant to serve as a learning experience for those young starters. They seemed to embrace that concept, consistently working alongside veterans like Clayton Richard, Chris Young and Tyson Ross.

"I try to pick their brain a lot," Lucchesi said. "They're veteran pitchers, there's a lot to learn from them, and I'm learning a lot."

Added Lauer: "It's nice to be around all the older guys and kind of see how they think through the game, what they do day in, day out to stay in this locker room, stay where they're at."

Video: CWS@SD: Lucchesi gets Davidson swinging

Richard serves as the de facto leader of the Padres' pitching staff, but he has enjoyed his time with the prospects as much as they have. He and Lauer are throwing partners. He and Lucchesi have spent time discussing grips for their offspeed pitches. The exchange of knowledge is clearly a two-way street.

"I've learned probably just as much from them as they have [from me]," Richard said. "It's cool to have guys who are eager to learn, eager to get better and are experiencing this level of play for the first time. It's very refreshing. It's fun to have them around."

With innings drying up, they probably won't be around much longer. It might be only a matter of time before they're back for good.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Lauer