Pitcher MacKenzie Gore from the San Diego Padres made his debut on Friday night in a game against the Atlanta Braves. The move was revealed by Padres manager Bob Melvin on Thursday.
Bob Melvin announced that Padres top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore will start tomorrow against the Braves pic.twitter.com/bd41V50hY9
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 14, 2022
He will take the spot of left-hander Blake Snell in the rotation, who is injured with a strained left adductor.
“I’m just throwing a bullpen, staying ready,” said Gore to MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell. “I don’t really know anything else, We’ll see how the next couple days play out, see what happens. But it means a lot. I’m just happy to be here.”
Going into the 2021 season, Gore was a top prospect with a No. 6 ranking by MLB Pipeline. He had four pitches, including a fastball in the mid-90s and changeups, sliders, and curveballs that were all above-average.
Last year, he almost entered the Majors, but command and control prevented him from doing so, and after walking on 28 hitters in 50.1 innings over four levels in the Minors, his prospects decrease. He struggled heavily in six starts at Triple-A El Paso, pitching 20 innings with 13 earned runs, 12 walks, and 18 strikeouts.
This spring, Gore showed an outstanding performance by striking out 16 with only three walks allowed in 12 Cactus League innings. In his previous Triple-A start, he struck out seven batters and walked none in five scoreless innings.
“The mechanics are better, which is going to bring more confidence. I just feel comfortable on the mound,” said Gore.
After that, he’ll most likely return to Triple-A to gain more experience. Having said that, especially after a great spring, the following two weeks might be an assessment for Gore’s 2022 season. If he performs well, the Padres may be forced to put him in the lineup or on the big league roster for the rest of the season.
“We saw it in the first sim game he threw and saw it some early in spring,” said Melvin. “He came in ready to pitch. His mechanics were sound. He was throwing strikes with all his pitches.”
Padres pitchers had a 3.63 ERA per Thursday, which is the 11th best in MLB, thanks in part to the recent acquisition of Sean Manaea. This is despite the fact that Yu Darvish was pummeled for nine runs in one and two-thirds innings prior to this week. Due to knee pain, right handed Mike Clevinger has yet to throw this season, but the Padres may expect him to enter the rotation once he recovers.
The match against the Braves
The Padres went on to win against the Brave on Thursday night with a lead of 12-1. Joe Musgrove stepped off the mound with two outs in the seventh inning, while Manny Machado hit two home runs with two outs in the bottom of the inning.
“Getting to open up in front of your hometown, a full stadium, especially when baseball is as exciting as it is in San Diego, it’s everything I dreamed of,” said Musgrove after the match. “It’s a good feeling to have the support of an entire city, but we also feel a little bit more pressure when everyone’s reaching out and everyone’s pulling for you and everyone’s coming to watch you.”