Notes: Starters toss zeros; Lamet; Tatis

March 9th, 2021

Sure, the Padres built themselves an elite, five-deep rotation during the winter. But they have to allow a run at some point -- right?

's scoreless outing in the Padres' 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch marked the sixth time a member of the projected rotation has started a game this spring. Across, 11 innings, that group has yet to allow a run.

"The reason why it's been solid starts from a lot of these guys is just that they're solid players," Snell said. "I mean, It's pretty simple. We've got guys that can really throw the ball."

Snell acknowledged he wasn't quite at his sharpest on Tuesday, his second start of the spring. But he allowed just two baserunners -- one on a throwing error by shortstop and another on Adam Engel's second-inning single.

Always self-critical, Snell was particularly peeved with himself for falling behind in counts. But after allowing the leadoff runner to reach base in both of his innings, he escaped trouble with ease both times.

"A lot of things I got to get better at," Snell said. "First-pitch strikes was terrible today. I've got to get better, got to be in the zone. ... But there's a lot to dissect. I'll look at it, I'll learn from it, I'll get better, and I'll be better for the next start."

The only member of the projected starting five who has yet to take the ball this spring is , who is building up slowly after the September elbow injury that forced him to miss the postseason.

To go along with Snell's three scoreless frames and four from , both and made their spring debuts over the weekend with two scoreless innings.

It’s always important to take Cactus League results with a grain of salt. But for the most part, that quartet has been facing bona fide big league opposition -- and thriving. In short, they've looked like the dominant force the Padres envisioned all winter, though manager Jayce Tingler did his best to downplay the early success.

“The main thing right now is trying to build these guys up, being patient and not stepping on the gas too early,” Tingler said. “I thought today was another productive day.”

Progression plan for Lamet
After Lamet's successful simulated outing on Sunday, Tingler detailed one further step before the right-hander can get into game action this spring.

Lamet will take part in another simulated game later this week, where he will throw multiple innings for the first time. Before Lamet faces hitters in a game, the Padres think it's vital that he gets the feel for pitching, then sitting, then pitching again.

"We'll see how he gets out of that,” Tingler said. “Then we'll start talking about getting him into game action if everything goes well. Right now, he's been doing well."

Lamet threw sliders against hitters for the first time on Sunday, an encouraging sign in his recovery.

But Tingler cautioned that he would wait until after Lamet’s next sim game to make any proclamations about Lamet's potential availability for the Opening Day roster.

"The biggest test is going to be having that up-down," Tingler said. "We think if we can pass that test, then we'll start laying out, 'Hey, what's the best thing going forward? And what do these timelines look like?'"

'Aches and pains' for Tatis
Shortstop has been out of the lineup for the past three games with what Tingler called "aches and pains in the body." Tingler did not address the specifics but noted that it's not COVID-related.

"If we were in-season, 100 percent, he would be in there," Tingler said. "But with a little over three weeks to go, we're going to make sure we get him back to 100 percent."

Tatis was off to a hot start to Spring Training, having reached base five times in 10 plate appearances, including a thunderous grand slam against Arizona last week. The Padres are optimistic that after a full workout on Wednesday, Tatis will be available to face Cleveland on Thursday.