MARLINS (19-36) AT PADRES (30-27)
10:07 p.m. ET; FSSD, FS-F, MLB.TV
When it comes to starting pitching this season, the San Diego Padres’ brain trust has one eye on the performance of the youngest rotation in the major leagues … with the other eye watching the innings.
Although he currently ranks third in the National League, don’t expect rookie left-hander Chris Paddack to remain on the Padres’ roster all season. The Padres are closely monitoring the “Tommy John” graduate’s innings.
The Padres are also closely watching the workload of Matt Strahm.
Ditto for rookie left-hander Nick Margevicius, who Saturday returns from an 11-day trip to the minor leagues to make his 10th start of the season for the Padres. Margevicius (2-5, 4.96 ERA) will oppose right-hander Jose Urena (3-6, 4.11 ERA) of the Marlins in the middle game of a three-game series between the Padres and Miami at Petco Park in San Diego.
Margevicius was detoured from the Padres on May 19 for two reasons. The seventh-round pick in the 2017 draft had struggled in his most recent starts in San Diego and the Padres wanted him to work on “some things.” And the Padres also wanted to give him some rest. While with Double-A Amarillo, the 22-year-old Margevicius made one start and worked only two innings.
“When we decided to give Margevicius time down from the big league club, it was with two ideas,” Padres manager Andy Green said before the Padres’ 5-2 win Friday night in the series opener.
“There was some instruction on stuff we thought was important to work on. And it was also important for him to breathe for a second. He’s in his second full season of professional baseball. These guys are young. We knew we wanted to do that along the way with him. That seemed like the best timing so he could go down and work as well.”
But when he was sent down, Margevicius was riding a three-game losing streak and his ERA climbed from 3.23 to 4.96 over his three latest starts — during which he gave up 14 runs on 23 hits and five walks against seven strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings … a 8.59 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP.
Margevicius, of course, will face the Marlins for the first time Saturday night. Urena will make his fifth start against the Padres.
Urena is 0-3 against the Padres with a 3.57 ERA, giving up 10 runs (nine earned) on 21 hits and four walks with 19 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. However, Urena held the Padres to a run on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts in six innings in his only previous start at Petco Park.
Despite his 3-6 record, Urena is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA, a 1.115 WHIP and a .237 opponents’ batting average over his last four starts — giving up eight runs (six earned) on 22 hits and seven walks with 14 strikeouts in 26 innings.
“He has consistently pitched well for us since his first three starts,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Urena, who recently has been the subject of trade interest from a number of teams. Urena, whose total of 31 career wins ranks 16th in franchise history, has a 2.77 ERA over his last eight starts and has gone at least six innings in all eight outings.
–Field Level Media