Padres report cards: Grading each member of the pitching staff at the break

July 18, 2018

RECORD: 40-59

HOME: 20-31

AWAY: 20-28

VS. AL: 2-8

VS. NL West: 17-26

VS. NL Central: 10-13

VS. NL East: 11-12

RUN DIFF: -100

The San Diego Padres limped into the All-Star break, losing 21 of their final 27 games to drop to a season-worst 19 games under .500. If the season ended today, San Diego would pick 4th in the 2019 MLB Draft. There have been some bright spots in the unofficial first half, including a winning stretch of five series in a row. However, for the most part, it has been a disappointing first 99 games for a team which had aspirations of taking a step forward.

Let’s hand out some grades for members of the pitching staff (position player grades to be posted on July 19):

SP Clayton Richard

Stats: 20 GS, 7-8, 4.43 ERA, 124.0 IP, 1.315 WHIP, 61 ER, 11 HR, 47 BB, 92 SO

After an inauspicious start to the season, Richard tinkered with a change in his arm angle… and it seems to have paid off. He has thrown at least six innings in 12 of his last 13 starts, and is really doing everything that A.J. Preller & co. had in mind when they extended him last September.

Midterm Grade: B-


SP Tyson Ross

Stats: 19 GS, 5-8, 4.32 ERA, 108.1 IP, 1.274 WHIP, 52 ER, 14 HR, 43 BB, 97 SO

Ross held a very solid 3.32 ERA until July, where he has run into some trouble. In his first two July starts, he allowed seven earned runs against the Pirates and eight against the DBacks. The right-hander did pitch well in his last outing before the break, throwing 6.1 innings of three-hit, two-run ball against LA. He is probably the most likely Padre to get moved at the deadline.

Midterm Grade: B


SP Eric Lauer

Stats: 16 GS, 5-6, 4.87 ERA, 77.2 IP, 1.674 WHIP, 42 ER, 11 HR, 32 BB, 67 SO

Lauer’s major league career got off to a difficult start, but the rookie seems to be finding his way. His near-complete game against the Dodgers was probably the most impressive start by a Padre this season, as he showcased a mid-90s fastball that nobody had ever seen before. In the words of Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, “He's got a f---ing weird heater."

Midterm Grade: C

SP Joey Lucchesi

Stats: 14 GS, 4-5, 3.34 ERA, 67.1 IP, 1.218 WHIP, 25 ER, 11 HR, 32 BB, 67 SO

Lucchesi got off to a blistering start, with his churve getting a lot of attention. However, he has cooled off some since then. He also missed about a month with a hip strain. His goal for the second half? Go deeper into games.

Midterm Grade: B-


SP Luis Perdomo

Stats: 7 GS, 1-4, 7.55 ERA, 31.0 IP, 2.097 WHIP, 26 ER, 3 HR, 18 BB, 26 SO

Following his first four starts with the Padres, Perdomo was optioned to AAA to “work on some things.” He performed, going 6-2 in the hitter-friendly PCL with a 3.10 ERA. He was recalled to start on July 4, and since then has a 6.88 ERA in three starts with the big league club. It hasn’t exactly been the smoothest of seasons for him.

Midterm Grade: D


SP Jordan Lyles

Stats: 21 G, 8 GS, 2-4, 4.46 ERA, 66.2 IP, 1.275 WHIP, 33 ER, 12 HR, 18 BB, 56 SO

Following a decent showing in the Padres bullpen (3.66 ERA in 14 games), Lyles was promoted to a starting role. As a starter, Lyles is 2-4 with a 4.79 ERA in 47 innings pitched. He was placed on the 10-day DL in late June with elbow soreness and has yet to make a return.

Midterm Grade: C


SP Bryan Mitchell

Stats: 12 G, 7 GS, 0-3, 7.08 ERA, 48.1 IP, 2.028 WHIP, 38 ER, 9 HR, 35 BB, 23 K

In 12 appearances, Mitchell has yet to have an outing in which he has allowed fewer than three hits. He has also allowed at least one run in all but one game, and only has one outing this season in which he has not walked a batter. A DL stint concluded a rough first half for a player the Padres organization was fairly high on heading into the season.

Midterm Grade: F


RP Robbie Erlin

Stats: 27 G, 1-3, 3.83 ERA, 54.0 IP, 1.019 WHIP, 23 ER, 7 HR, 6 BB, 46 SO

As a starter, Erlin is 0-2 and has given up 11 ER in seven innings (14.14 ERA). As a reliever, the left-hander has only allowed 12 ER in 47 innings (2.30 ERA). It is good to see him finally healthy.

Midterm Grade: B-

RP Adam Cimber

Stats: 42 G, 3-5, 3.17 ERA, 48.1 IP, 1.076 WHIP, 17 ER, 2 HR, 10 BB, 51 SO

Cimber, a submariner, has accumulated a 1.1 WAR out of the Padres’ pen with a 2.32 FIP. Not bad for a guy who was not expected to make the roster when Spring Training began.

Midterm Grade: B+


RP Craig Stammen

Stats: 42 G, 4-1, 2.91 ERA, 46.1 IP, 1.165 WHIP, 15 ER, 1 HR, 9 BB, 51 SO

Signed on the cheap to a two-year deal in the offseason, Stammen leads the pitching staff with 1.4 WAR. Although he has run into some bumps of late, he is a prime candidate to be dealt this month.

Midterm Grade: B


RP Kirby Yates

Stats: 39 G, 3-0, 1.43 ERA, 37.2 IP, 0.876 WHIP, 2 SV, 6 ER, 1 HR, 11 BB, 48 SO

Yates has arguably been the Padres’ best reliever this season, striking out roughly 11.5 batters per nine innings. If it wasn’t for him giving up three runs as part of the 20-5 loss to the DBacks on July 7, he would lead all NL relievers in ERA.

Midterm Grade: A


RP Brad Hand

Stats: 41 G, 2-4, 3.05 ERA, 24/29 SV, 44.1 IP, 1.083 WHIP, 15 ER, 5 HR, 15 BB, 65 SO

Hand is one of the hottest commodities in the trade deadline, and although he has allowed eight earned runs in 9 innings since June 17, his track record suggests that is just a blip in the radar.

Midterm Grade: A-


RP Matt Strahm

Stats: 19 G, 2-2, 2.34 ERA, 34.2 IP, 0.981 WHIP, 9 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 33 SO

It took a while for Strahm to recover from a torn patellar tendon he suffered last July. Now that he is healthy, though, he is a dynamic lefty who can touch 96 on the radar gun. Those don’t just grow on trees. The former Royal could very well be starting for the Friars next season.

Midterm Grade: B

RP Jose Castillo

Stats: 13 G, 1-2, 2.84 ERA, 12.2 IP, 0.789 WHIP, 4 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 18 SO

Castillo struck out Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Adam Duvall in order in his first MLB appearance. It has only been 13 games, but the left-handed reliever has showcased the stuff that could make him a big leaguer for a long, long time. He is currently on the DL with a right hamstring strain.

Midterm Grade: B+


RP Phil Maton

Stats: 20 G, 0-0, 2.49 ERA, 21.2 IP, 1.662 WHIP, 6 ER, 0 HR, 12 BB, 20 SO

Maton got off to a strong start this season, only allowing one run over his first 15 appearances. He then went on the DL with a lat issue, and is still trying to find his way back. In five MLB appearances since then, the 25-year-old has allowed five runs in 5.2 innings.

Midterm Grade: B-


RP Kazuhisa Makita

Stats: 23 G, 0-1, 7.09 ERA, 26.2 IP, 1.425 WHIP, 21 ER, 7 HR, 9 BB, 29 SO

Makita at Petco Park: 11.08 ERA. Makita anywhere else from Petco Park: 3.29 ERA. What does that mean? I have no idea.

Midterm Grade: D+


RP Phil Hughes

Stats: 11 G, 0-0, 6.59 ERA, 13.2 IP, 1.610 WHIP 10 ER, 5 HR, 3 BB, 16 SO

Acquired by the Padres via a trade with the Twins, Hughes has been resorted to mop up duty as he continues to recover from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

Midterm Grade: Incomplete