Chris Paddack facing critical year for San Diego Padres

Jul 7, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Paddack (59) walks to the dugout during the middle of the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Chris Paddack (59) walks to the dugout during the middle of the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Chris Paddack is in an interesting place with the San Diego Padres. He had appeared to be a part of their future, a homegrown arm who could be a top of the rotation arm. Paddack seemed to be on his way towards fulfilling that promise in 2019, posting a solid rookie campaign as he looked to solidify his place going forward.

Paddack struggled a bit in 2020, but that is easy to overlook due to the pandemic shortened campaign. The problems came last year, as he battled COVID and other minor injuries. Those issues led to a disappointing 5.07 ERA and a 1.265 WHiP in his 108.1 innings.

Chris Paddack has to prove himself to San Diego Padres again

Those struggles over the past two seasons, coupled with the Padres’ push to win a championship, have left Paddack in a tough spot. He is currently listed as San Diego’s fifth starter according to ESPN.com, but he may have to battle for that spot. The Padres also have a plethora of pitching prospects that will be on the cusp of the majors soon, further complicating Paddack’s future.

More Padres. Can MacKenzie Gore make an impact in 2022?. light

As it is, his tenure with the Padres almost came to an end last year. He was included in their ill-fated talks with the Nationals for Max Scherzer, only to be removed from the deal due to another injury. The Padres seemingly have questions about how he fits in for both the present and future.

That makes the 2022 season all the more important. Paddack is now 26 years old, his prospect status fading away. He needs to prove himself all over again, either to remain as a piece of the Padres’ future or to re-establish himself as a possible centerpiece of a trade package.

It is entirely possible that happens. Each of the last two seasons can be explained away due to the strangeness of the pandemic year and his injury woes. But there comes a time when results need to happen. For Paddack, that time is this year.

Next. Padres get good news on Abrams. dark

Chris Paddack needs to prove himself to the San Diego Padres all over again. The upcoming season will be critical to his future with the franchise.