Starting pitcher Chris Paddack, who recovered from Tommy John surgery three years ago, has made an auspicious rookie debut for the San Diego Padres (17-14).
In six starts thus far, Paddack is 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. The Padres are currently in third place in the NL West, but only a couple of games behind the first-place LA Dodgers.
WHO IS CHRIS PADDACK?
Born: January 6, 1996
Hometown: Cedar Park, TX
Drafted: Miami Marlins, 8th Round 2015 Draft
When Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres, everyone knew that the Padres were a young team with up and coming prospects such as SS Fernando Tatis. No one expected they would be playing so well, so soon. The Padres have played so well because of excellent starting pitching and a strong bullpen anchored by closer Kirby Yates.
The Long Road from Austin to San Diego
Chris Paddack was a top prospect out of high school. He earned a scholarship to Texas A&M, but decided to go pro instead. He played well in Rookie Ball with the Gulf Coast Marlins. They promoted him to Greensboro Grasshoppers in Single-A ball.
In 2016, the Marlins traded Paddack to the San Diego Padres for journeyman reliever Fernando Rodney. The Padres assigned Paddack to their Single-A club, the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the Midwest League. Paddack blew out his arm that summer, but underwent successful Tommy John surgery.
Paddack missed the 2017 season while rehabbing his arm. The Padres were impressed with his recovery and invited him to spring training. Paddack impressed the coaching staff and made the team. Not only was he going to the show, Padres manager Andy Green slated him as one of the starting pitchers.
“I’m very blessed to be a part of this organization,” said Paddack. “Very thankful that the Padres gave me an opportunity to show them that I belong and it’s going to be a fun year.”
Welcome to the Show, Paddack
On March 31, Paddack made his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants. Paddack did not get a decision, but he pitched five solid innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 ER, while striking out 7 batters.
Paddack looked excellent in his last two starts, winning both, while allowing just 2 ER in 13 innings. The rookie scattered five hits and whiffed 14 batters in his last two starts.
In a game against the surging Seattle Mariners, who held the best offense in baseball at the time, Paddack hurled a one-hitter through seven shutout innings. He earned his first big league win after working himself out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning.
“Long time coming,” said Paddack. “It was a very exciting moment out there.”
Paddack scribbled “Relentless” on his glove to remind him to go after batters.
“He goes after them. He doesn’t yield,” said manager Andy Green. “I don’t think it’s ever enough for him. He wants to crush the opposition when he’s out there.”
It’s too early to hand out Rookie of the Year awards, but keep an eye on Chris Paddack.
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