Padres GM A.J. Preller, who's been perhaps the most active of operators this offseason, on Tuesday addressed the media regarding the recent addition of starting pitcher Joe Musgrove via a three-team trade. Musgrove is the third starting pitcher added by San Diego this offseason, and the tremendous amount of rotation depth the Padres now boast has naturally raised concerns that right-hander Dinelson Lamet may not be fully healthy.
The 28-year-old Lamet previously underwent Tommy John surgery, and last season he was shut down just prior to the playoffs because of a biceps issue, which is a concerning thing in a pitcher who's had his elbow reconstructed. Preller in his recent comments, though, downplayed those concerns (via 97.3 The Fan):
"There's not anything from a health standpoint that we know with Dinelson Lamet that, you know, is going to come out in the next couple of days . . . He's passed every test we've had. We'll get into spring training, and he's going to be a guy that we'll let go out and pitch."
Preller also indicated that the jump from the abbreviated 60-game regular season of 2020 to, if plans hold, a full 162-game regular season in 2021 will certainly call for a much deeper rotation. Add to Lamet's injury concerns the fact that he's never thrown more than 114 1/3 innings in a season at the highest level, and that depth becomes even more important.
Speaking of which, there's also this:
A.J. Preller indicates Padres could use six-man rotation in 2021.— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) January 19, 2021
Going from 60 games to 162 is a factor in considering it.
As things stand now, the Padres could trot out this six-man rotation:
- Yu Darvish, RHP
- Blake Snell, LHP
- Dinelson Lamet, RHP
- Joe Musgrove, RHP
- Chris Paddack, RHP
- Adrian Morejon, LHP
And that's to say nothing of top prospects MacKenzie Gore and Ryan Weathers, who should be ready for the major-league rotation at some point in 2021. Even if Lamet suffers a setback or the Padres choose to significantly curtail his 2021 workload in the service of a healthier long-term future, they should be fine.
Sure, this is depth bordering on an embarrassment of riches, but when you have legitimate designs on the World Series there's no such thing as an overabundance of rotation arms. All of this isn't a tell that the Padres are worried about Lamet, but they're ready should some kind of worst-case scenario come to pass.