Lamet makes 2nd MLB start Tuesday vs Cubs
SAN DIEGO — Two pitchers seeking to get their careers planted firmly in the major leagues will be on the mound Tuesday at Petco Park.
Right-handers Eddie Butler of the Chicago Cubs and Dinelson Lamet of the San Diego Padres started the season in Triple-A and were recently promoted as injury replacements in their respective rotations.
Butler, 26, who previously pitched parts of three seasons for the Colorado Rockies, is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts with the Cubs since being promoted from Triple-A Iowa on May 7 when Brett Anderson went on the disabled list with a back injury.
Lamet, 24, made his major league debut Thursday against the Mets in New York as the replacement for struggling veteran Jered Weaver, who went on the 10-day disabled list May 20 with a hip injury.
The first impressions for each were solid.
Lamet got the win by holding the Mets to one run, three hits and two walks while striking out eight in five innings in a steady rain. Tuesday night will be his home debut at Petco Park.
“It’s a live arm, which we knew,” Padres manager Andy Green said of Lamet’s first outing. “The velocity is 97-98 (mph), and the ball moves. If he throws strikes, he’s going to have success. He has the pitches.”
Lamet became only the second Padre ever to pick up the win and strike out eight or more hitters in his major league debut. Before being promoted from Triple-A El Paso, Lamet was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts. The 6-foot-4, 187-pounder had 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in 39 innings of Pacific Coast League action.
Like Lamet, Butler has a live arm. His fastball runs up to the plate at 95-96 mph, and he has a solid changeup, although scouts believe he doesn’t use it as often as he should. Butler’s problem has been consistency.
“When he’s around the plate, he’s very capable,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Butler, who was the 46th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder was 6-16 with a 6.50 ERA in 36 games (28 starts) with the Rockies in parts of the last three seasons. When he was designated for assignment by Colorado two weeks before the start of spring training, the Cubs acquired him for right-handed pitcher James Farris.
Butler opened the season with Iowa and had a 1.17 ERA in five starts before being called up by the Cubs, striking out 17 and walking eight in 30 2/3 innings. He could return to Triple-A once Anderson gets healthy.
Lamet, meanwhile, has a chance to win a permanent spot in the Padres’ rotation even if Weaver and Trevor Cahill both return from the disabled list.
“Although he didn’t have a real good spring training with us, we really liked what we saw from Lamet,” Green said. “The stuff is there. He was a late bloomer and made huge strides last season (jumping from Class A to Triple-A). There is opportunity.”