Major League Baseball

Pitching a concern for Padres as Giants visit

mlb14GIANTS (37-47) AT PADRES (42-42)
10:10 p.m. ET; FSSD, NBCSBA, MLB.TV

Through the first 84 games of the season, the San Diego Padres (-1.5) have used 10 starting pitchers.

The number will likely climb to 11 before the All-Star break and top a dozen during the second half.

The problem is not injuries but more the need to create extra days off and protect the arms of young pitchers and pitchers coming off injuries. One of the recovered hurlers, left-hander Matt Strahm, will oppose the visiting San Francisco Giants (+1.5) on Tuesday in the second contest of a three-game series.

“All season long, we’ve talked about protecting arms and giving our young pitchers as much rest as possible,” Padres manager Andy Green said Monday while saying Dinelson Lamet could come off the disabled list and make his first start since the 2017 season this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

Lamet had Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2018 and recently finished a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso. On Monday afternoon, he threw a bullpen session, and he likely will be activated in the next couple of days.

“We’ll see how he feels Tuesday,” Green said.

Green then hinted the Padres might also deploy Garrett Richards before the end of the season. The Padres signed Richards, who owns a career 3.54 ERA, as a free agent in December even though he had Tommy John surgery last July.

Lamet and Richards would add to the game of musical chairs the Padres have played with their pitching staff throughout the season. Rarely has a San Diego starter worked on four days’ rest. Using off days and spot starters, the Padres have given most of their rotation regulars at least five days’ rest between outings.

One of those pitchers being protected will make his 15th start of the season Tuesday night. Strahm (3-6, 4.94 ERA) will oppose San Francisco right-hander Tyler Beede (1-3, 6.45 ERA).

Strahm, who worked mostly out of the bullpen last season after recuperating from 2017 knee surgery, struggled in each of his four starts in June around an 11-day trip to the injured list caused by a rib strain. Strahm has given up 21 runs on 24 hits and five walks with 20 strikeouts over his past 18 2/3 innings — for a 10.13 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

The recent run has shot his ERA up from 3.21 at the end of May.

Strahm saw his most recent start against the Orioles in Baltimore as a step in the right direction, although he gave up two homers for a sixth straight start and allowed four runs in six innings Wednesday.

“The three starts (before Baltimore) wasn’t me out there,” Strahm said. “I felt good. I was attacking the zone and eliminated the walks.”

Strahm will be making his second career start against the Giants. In five previous appearances, he has allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.

Despite losing three of four to the Padres in the season-opening series at Petco Park, the Giants are now 5-5 against San Diego following a 13-2 rout in the series opener Monday night.

“This was one of our better all-around efforts,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his return to San Diego, where he managed the Padres from 1995-2006.

Beede, 26, will be making his 10th appearance of the season and eighth start. Opposing hitters are batting .276 against Beede, who also has a 1.86 WHIP, having allowed 42 hits and 28 walks in just 37 2/3 innings.

Beede, who has a 7.11 ERA in 25 1/3 innings on the road this season, has faced San Diego twice in his career. The Padres have nine runs on 11 hits in 8 1/3 innings against him.

–Field Level Media

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