Notes: Lamet near return; Tatis; bullpen

April 10th, 2021

The Padres' pitching staff has been nothing short of spectacular this season, and San Diego might soon be getting one of their most electric arms back into the mix.

While was busy authoring the first no-hitter in franchise history on Friday night, right-hander pitched into the fourth inning of a game at the team's alternate training site for the first time, throwing 56 pitches.

Lamet, who has been built up slowly this season after he missed the postseason last year because of a UCL strain, could be nearing a return. It's possible, manager Jayce Tingler said, that Lamet could pitch next week during the Padres' four-game series in Pittsburgh.

"He had an overall really good day," Tingler said. "As far as the next step, we're going to discuss that … what exactly that looks like. Is that one more start down there? Is that -- do we start to look at this Pittsburgh series? We've got some decisions to be made, but the most important thing is he came out of there feeling really good."

Understandably, the Padres have been cautious in building Lamet up for the season. He injured his elbow in his final start of the 2020 season and missed the playoffs before receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in October.

Since his late-March return to game action, Lamet has reported no lingering effects from the elbow injury. A season ago, Lamet posted a 2.09 ERA, which stands as the best qualifying mark for a starting pitcher in franchise history. He finished fourth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award.

If the Padres get that version of Lamet, their rotation would be especially fearsome. Entering play Saturday, the Padres' 2.28 ERA from their starting pitchers was tied for the best mark in the NL.

Lamet's return could necessitate a duel between and for the final rotation spot. But the Padres also could carry six starters temporarily in an effort to ease Lamet back into action.

Tatis progressing quickly
took batting practice and went through fielding drills on Saturday afternoon as he works his way back from the partially dislocated left shoulder that landed him on the injured list earlier this week.

"He's had a couple good days, each day a little bit more intensity, a little bit more volume on what he's doing, Tingler said.

The manager wouldn't rule out the possibility of a return for Tatis after his minimum 10-day stint on the IL. That would see Tatis return to the lineup for the Padres' three-game series against the Dodgers beginning Friday.

But -- while Tatis has begun lobbying for that -- behind the scenes, the Padres have expressed some measure of caution. They need to be absolutely certain his left shoulder has healed before they activate their superstar shortstop. Still, there's no denying that the early returns are encouraging.

"It'll be at that 10-day mark where we'll make a decision," Tingler said. "Right now, he's progressing. He's doing well. We want to take it day by day. But we feel confident that if we can continue down this road, we're going to be in a good position for him to be activated."

Adams returns; Crismatt optioned
The Padres activated right-hander from the injured list and optioned right-hander to the team's alternate training site.

Adams missed the first week of the season with a right elbow strain, but he looked sharp in alternate training site games, according to those in attendance. Adams, acquired from the Mariners at the Trade Deadline last summer, owns a 3.86 ERA across four seasons.

Crismatt, meanwhile, was sharp in Adams' absence, pitching three scoreless innings and striking out four. Without Crismatt in the bullpen, the Padres are severely limited in their multi-inning options. is the lone long man in the 'pen now, though the Padres have also asked right-hander to eat multiple innings at times.