By Matt Snyder
Padres ace Mat Latos will begin the season on the disabled list, general manager Jed Hoyer announced Monday. (San Diego Union-Tribune via Twitter)
Latos, 23, recently had a flare up of shoulder bursitis and has been shut down by the team. After a breakout 2010 campaign, He was the obvious favorite to get the ball on opening day for the Padres, but Tim Stauffer will go in his absence. Latos will still throw Tuesday and hopes this issue is a temporary situation. It would appear the team is going to err on the side of caution with the 23 year old, which is easily the smart approach. His workload increased by over 60 innings last season, so arm fatigue is a definite concern.
He finished the 2010 season with a 14-10 record, 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 184 2/3 innings. At one point, though, he was among the most dominant pitchers in baseball. After another 10-strikeout gem September 7 -- his third in a four-start stretch -- Latos had a 14-5 record with a 2.21 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning. He tired down the stretch, bringing his numbers back to Earth a bit.
The Padres are still sorting out who will fill the back-end of the rotation behind Stauffer, Aaron Harang and Clayton Richard. Cory Luebke, Wade LeBlanc and Dustin Moseley are in the mix.
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