San Diego Padres: Projecting The 2018 Starting Rotation

The calendar has turned, and we are officially over three weeks into 2018. You know what that means baseball fans? The MLB season is not too far away! For the San Diego Padres, their first home Spring Training game in Peoria, Arizona is just over a month away (February 23rd).

For the Padres, their five starting rotation slots are not all locked in yet. So those Spring games will be extremely important in determining who opens the season in the top five. We are here to give you a breakdown of what to expect. Below is our projected 2018 starting rotation for the San Diego Padres.


  1. Dinelson Lamet, Right-Handed – To put it simply, this is a team without a true ace. As a result, one of their young arms is going to have to step up and try to claim that role. The most likely candidate to do so is Dinelson Lamet. While he pitched just under 115 innings a season ago, Lamet struck out 139 batters, showing how dominant he can be. His main issues come in the form of command and getting lefties out. He improved a bit against the lefties in the second half of last season, while he also made some small strides with his control as well. There are some positive signs here, and he is the most likely bet to be a breakout arm for San Diego.
  2. Luis Perdomo, Right-Handed – The young righty hit the DL last season with a shoulder injury after one start. He would come back to start a total of 29 games a season ago. The results were far from great, but the Padres appear to be willing to give the kid every chance to prove himself, as he has never pitched in either Double-A or Triple-A. There is no promise he will be very good, but it seems a safe bet he is in the Padres’ top five.
  3. Clayton Richard, Left-Handed – It feels like yesterday that Richard was a well-regarded prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization. Now, after nine seasons in the big leagues, Richard is no more than a journeyman starting pitcher who somehow is still finding work. The Padres are going to need a veteran innings eater, as they can only roll out so many young guys. So despite his 4.79 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 2017 over the course of 32 starts, Richard is probably a safe bet to be in the top portion of the San Diego rotation.
  4. Tyson Ross, Right-Handed – The Pads signed a few veteran arms who have pitched with the team before, to minor league deals this Winter. Those names would be Tyson Ross and Chris Young. Expect one of them to crack the starting five. Of the two, Tyson Ross is simply the more skilled of the two. So that’s why this projection is placing him in the four slot and not Young. His best years came in a San Diego uniform. Unfortunately, injuries have truly derailed a once-promising career. He looks to get things going again as a Padre.
  5. Bryan Mitchell, Right-Handed – Remember when the New York Yankees traded Chase Headley to the Padres earlier this Winter? Well, he was not actually the main reason the Pads made the deal. Instead, they wanted the controllable young arm that is Bryan Mitchell. The soon to be 27-year-old will be in a competition for a rotation spot this Spring. When all is said and done, he earns the role. While he only started one game a season ago, Mitchell is certainly up for the role. He could be a surprise for San Diego this season.

How do you see the San Diego Padres starting rotation shaking out for the upcoming 2018 MLB season? Tell us in the comments!

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