San Diego Padres: 3 Friars making a big impact early on

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Edward Olivares #71 of the San Diego Padres looks on during their summer workout at PETCO Park on July 10, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Edward Olivares #71 of the San Diego Padres looks on during their summer workout at PETCO Park on July 10, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Drew Pomeranz is back with the San Diego Padres, finding a home in the bullpen in 2020.

San Diego’s pitching staff has been quite the sight to see through the first week of games, especially the promising starts from Paddack, Lamet, Garrett Richards, and Zach Davies over the last few days.

As a team, Padres pitchers own a 2.20 ERA (fourth-best in the majors), a 1.00 WHIP (third-best), and a .201 average against (sixth-best). A shorter schedule and deeper roster will be a huge boost for San Diego pitchers, especially pitchers like Joey Lucchesi who struggle to get through a lineup multiple times.

More from Call to the Pen

A great bullpen is also a big help. Old friend Drew Pomeranz is back with the Padres and has been lights out through his first three outings in the brown and gold.

Forget about Drew Pomeranz the starting pitcher and focus your attention on Pomeranz the reliever. After relying on a five-pitch mix for many years, Pomeranz has needed just his four-seam fastball and curveball in 2020, working three no-hit innings with one walk and six strikeouts.

He even recorded his first save of the year and sixth of his career on Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants, an extremely quick and efficient outing that saw Pomeranz strike out all three hitters he faced in the ninth inning.

Giving a four-year/$34 million deal to a 31-year-old reliever is a ludicrous idea, considering the high volatility of relief arms, yet Padres general manager AJ Preller may have found something here.

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If these three Friars continue to impress as they go through the 2020 season, the San Diego Padres will be in contention for as long as the pitching staff will carry them. It also doesn’t hurt that top pitching prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino are waiting in the wings. Get excited, Padres fans. It’s going to be a good year.