The San Diego Padres‘ young pitchers got hammered again, this time in a split-squad matchup with the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday — a 15-4 type hammering. In what has seemed to be the norm early on this spring, the Padres’ pitching again fell victim to the big inning.
Projected starting rotation member Tyson Ross would start the game in dominant fashion, mixing his 95-plus fastball with effective breaking balls during two scoreless innings of work. Ross would allow zero hits, while striking out one Red and allowing only a walk. Then it happened.
What happened was Ross was taken out of the game and four out of the next five Padres pitchers would allow runs. Right-hander Burch Smith, who would relieve Ross in the top of the third, got it the worst as he allowed six runs in 1.2 innings of work. Right-hander Anthony Carter would then enter the game in relief of Smith and would actually stop the third-inning bleeding by getting the final out in the inning. Carter would then rip the Band-Aid off and allow the bleeding to continue when he allowed four runs in the top of the fourth.
Right-handers Nick Vincent and Dennis O’Grady would later combine to allow five runs — three earned — in two innings of work. As mentioned earlier, four out of the next five Padres pitchers allowed runs after starter Ross exited the mound and top pitching prospect Matt Wisler happened to be that one other pitcher outside of Ross who pitched well against the Reds on Sunday. Wisler’s two scoreless innings of work were a welcomed sight for Padres fans, not only for the purpose of this particular game, but for his eventual arrival in the big leagues as well.
It would be unfair to the Padres’ staff for me to fail to mention that the Reds fielded a lineup made up of mostly regulars, so if there is any silver lining to today’s effort, it would have to be that Padres’ youngsters faced some true big-league talent in this game. On the flip side of things, the fact that most of these young arms make up the direct pitching depth behind the Padres’ starters this season means these same guys would be facing the same level of big-league talent if called upon to step into the rotation for whatever reason this season, which is not a good sign as of now.
Ross and Wisler’s efforts should give the Padres fans a good feeling heading into the season, as Ross is projected to start the season as a member of the big league rotation and Wilson should be one of the first in line to be called upon if needed. There is still plenty of time for the other young arms to get in a groove so don’t write them off just yet.
Oh, by the way, the Padres’ offense hasn’t looked too good so far this spring either. In fact, the members of this split-squad offense didn’t get their first hit against the Reds in Sunday’s game until the bottom of the sixth inning. As was the case with the pitching in this matchup, in their defense, I must mention that the Padres’ batting order was mostly made up of prospects. Prospects or not, it would be nice to start seeing some hitting from the Padres’ players. Keep the faith on that Padres fans. Remember, it’s still early.