PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' pitching plans for this week's season Opening Series against Milwaukee remain up in the air as the club awaits word on Dinelson Lamet's elbow. But after Clayton Richard gets the ball in the opener, Luis Perdomo is currently slated to pitch Game 3 on Saturday.Green
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' pitching plans for this week's season Opening Series against Milwaukee remain up in the air as the club awaits word on Dinelson Lamet's elbow. But after Clayton Richard gets the ball in the opener, Luis Perdomo is currently slated to pitch Game 3 on Saturday.
Green tabbed Richard as his Opening Day starter earlier this month, and Lamet, who sustained an unspecified elbow injury during his final spring start on Sunday, had been lined up for Game 2. Neither of those decisions came as a surprise. Perdomo, meanwhile, earned his spot after a fierce camp battle featuring seven or eight contenders.
"He took what we asked him to do very seriously, worked consistently hard at it," said Padres manager Andy Green. "I think we saw some improvement in key areas. His changeup last time out was as good as I've seen it. Good arm speed, got it down beneath the zone a lot. Slider was good. For the most part, he's kept his pitches in his lanes, like we've asked."
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Bryan Mitchell is likely to pitch one of the first two games against Colorado -- the club's second series of the season. Tyson Ross is a heavy favorite for the other.
For Perdomo, it's a critical season after he slumped to a 4.67 ERA last year. The 24-year-old right-hander didn't take the steps forward that the Padres had hoped for. That said, the club feels Perdomo has room for growth at his age. If not for his Rule 5 Draft status in 2016, it's likely this year would've marked his debut season anyway.
In four spring appearances, Perdomo posted a 5.74 ERA -- most of the damage coming in one poor outing against San Francisco. He's slated to start the club's exhibition on Monday night against Triple-A El Paso.
Lefty Matt Strahm has made four Cactus League appearances this spring, but he'll open the season on the disabled list as he recovers from July knee surgery.
The Padres haven't yet decided whether Strahm will pitch as a starter or reliever this season. But he simply hasn't built up enough strength to serve in either capacity.
"If he's going to pitch in the bullpen, he can't do it once every five days like he's done in camp," said Green. "He's got to pitch back-to-back days, he's got to pitch two out of three days, three out of four days. He's not ready for that, and we don't want to push him toward that workload.
"We'll continue to slowplay Matt toward that progression. And we'll also map out a little bit of a starter progression through the first half of April and go from there."
Strahm, who came to the Padres in a trade with Kansas City shortly after his surgery, has allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings this spring.
60-day DL candidates
The Padres must add at least two players -- and possibly as many as five -- to their 40-man roster ahead of Opening Day. They'll address some of those openings by moving players to the 60-day disabled list.
It's likely that Alex Dickerson (Tommy John surgery) and Allen Cordoba (severe concussion) will open the season on the 60-day DL, clearing room for a backup catcher (possibly A.J. Ellis) and a starting pitcher (possibly Ross) to be added to the 40-man.
Colin Rea is another option for the 60-day DL, should the Padres need roster space. The right-hander began throwing on Thursday as he recovers from a strained right lat muscle. Rea still must build to a full starter's workload after missing the entire 2017 season with Tommy John surgery.
Depending on roster decisions, the Padres could potentially add two relievers and a third catcher to the 40-man squad.
Ailing outfielder Franchy Cordero was a roster favorite had he not gone down with groin tightness in mid-March. Instead, he'll open the year on the DL. He could return to game action in Peoria in "seven or eight days," Green said.
Cordero was one of the Padres' most impressive performers for this spring, posting a .343/.465/.714 slash line in 16 Cactus League games. But now he's likely to start the year in the Minors, with the final outfield spot going to either Matthew Szczur or Travis Jankowski.
"There's always more to prove in the Major Leagues than the Minor Leagues, but sometimes opportunity and injury forces more time in the Minor Leagues," Green said. "Yeah, he was squarely in the mix to be on our club, maybe had earned that. Now we just hope he heals fast and gets ready to go."
Perdomo takes the ball as the Padres wrap up their Spring Training slate against the Triple-A Chihuahuas in El Paso. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. PT, and the game is available on MLB.TV.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.