The San Diego Padres received relatively good news about their No. 2 starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet on Monday.
Lamet was named the Padres No. 2 starting pitcher Sunday morning and during his outing against the Seattle Mariners in the Cactus League finale that day, he exited in the second inning with pain in his pitching elbow.
The Padres had feared the worse. The pain in Lamet’s elbow could be anything from a sprain to a torn ligament that would require surgery.
“Right before the season starts, you don’t want to lose one of your best starting pitchers,” Padres manager Andy Green said Sunday. “Hopefully he’s not out for long, but usually you walk off the mound and your elbow hurts, it’s not a good thing.”
Green could breathe a small sigh of relief Monday. The pain in the 24-year-old elbow was nothing more than a flexor strain. The evaluations showed no structural or ligament damage, but the team said Lament will out until at least May.
“It seems to be a lot better than we felt it was yesterday,” Green said Monday. “We’re going to continue to have him examined and make sure everything is as it should be.”
The Friars will now to have to fill Lamet’s place in their starting rotation. He was slated to pitch Friday in game two of the season-opening series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Padres had high expectations for Lamet this season. In his rookie season last year, Lamet posted a 4.57 ERA over 21 starts and set the club’s rookie record with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
The club hasn’t announced who will start in place of Lamet, but the options are Tyson Ross, Robbie Erlin and Joey Lucchesi. There were talks of 38-year-old Chris Young replacing Lamet in the rotation, but the veteran right-hander didn’t make the team after being invited as a non-roster invitee to camp this spring.
“Hopefully he finds himself another job, because there’s still pitching left in him, I believe that,” Green said. “He’s one of those guys that can do whatever he wants in this game. He’s built that reputation, and he deserves that respect.”
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