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The Padres Are Set to Activate Veteran Right-Hander

The San Diego Padres will get some much-needed pitching depth back in the fold. Yu Darvish, who was out with a neck injury, will be activated from the 15-day injured list to start Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. Darvish missed time after difficult starts against the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s ready to go after he checked out fine while throwing a bullpen session last Wednesday. Before his brief absence, the right-hander posted a 4.18 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 22 punchouts over 23 2/3 innings. It’s his fourth season overall with the club.

The Padres recalled right-handed reliever Logan Gillaspie from Triple-A El Paso in his place.

Yu Darvish is Set for Tuesday Return

Darvish, 37, ended his 2023 season with an elbow injury and has dealt with back and neck issues in the past. He was on the injured list with a neck injury in 2013. He’s in the second year of a six-year, $108 million extension with the Padres. The deal runs through the 2028 season when Darvish will be 42. The deal promised Darvish five years and an additional $90 million on top of the final $18 million he was owed under his prior contract. He’d finish eighth in Cy Young voting a season prior, compiling 194 2/3 innings of 3.10 ERA ball.

San Diego had to lean more on the trio of Joe Musgrove, Dylan Cease and Michael King. Knuckleballer Matt Waldron has pitched well of late despite a minimal track record in the majors. Other rotation options included righties Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez in addition to lefties Jackson Wolf and Jay Groome.

Padres Still Feeling the Loss of Juan Soto

The Padres entered Monday’s series opener against the speedy Reds. It started off like the previous series: the Padres scored a total of 10 runs. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies tallied nine home runs on their way to the sweep. San Diego is still feeling the loss of Juan Soto and their unexpected waiver claim in Gary Sanchez. Instead, they retained Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. But they replaced Trent Grisham with Jackson Merrill, who is exceeding expectations as an offensive juggernaut and budding center fielder.

The re-signing of Jurickson Profar has been a bigger surprise. Profar is hitting the ball harder as six of his ten extra-base hits through Sunday had come against the fastball. Jake Cronenworth, another bounce-back candidate, has been productive but unlucky at the same time.

The greatest source of the club’s recent mediocracy comes from the three highest-paid players who are underperforming their career norms. Once Tatis, Machado and Bogaerts start hitting more, the offense could remain stuck in the middle ground.

Main Photo: © Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

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