Dinelson Lamet returned to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday after an offseason of speculation over his status. An elbow/biceps injury ended his brilliant 2020 season and no one knew what 2021 would hold after he opted against surgery to repair the issue. His return to the rotation garnered much fanfare due to the boost he'd give San Diego's rotation. He looked sharp from the jump, striking out the side in the first inning. Those good vibes lasted all of two innings.
Lamet threw 29 pitches in two innings, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out four. His fastball sat in the 94 to 97 mph range and his signature slider looked fantastic. But apparently he felt tightness in his forearm and was removed between the second and third innings.
This news likely means the PRP therapy on Lamet's injured elbow didn't fix the issue and he might be headed for a second Tommy John surgery. Lamet first underwent the procedure in 2018.
If that is, indeed the case, it's a devastating blow to the Padres. Lamet was brilliant in 2020, as he went 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 69.0 innings. He finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting and was voted All-MLB Second Team.
Lamet would become the sixth Padres pitcher to need Tommy John surgery in five months. Mike Clevinger, Jose Castillo, Jacob Nix, Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon have already undergone the procedure.
Given San Diego's troubles scoring runs early in the season, the team will need as much pitching as it can get. This injury may necessitate bringing up top prospect MacKenzie Gore to fill out the rotation.
We'll see what happens but it certainly looks like Lamet is going to be out for a while.