It didn’t take long on Saturday for Dinelson Lamet to make his mark on Saturday, striking out the first five Brewers he faced, and while he would ultimately allow three runs, he became the just second Padres’ rookie to strike out twelve batters in a game. In case you missed it, the Padres twitter provided a Lamet highlight reel for people to check out:
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 18, 2017
Yet, as it exciting as his performance was, he still didn’t make full use of his arsenal throughout the afternoon. If you have had an opportunity to read “Dinelson Lamet and the Tyler Glasnow Example,” the primary focus was on the notion that Lamet needs to work on integrating his changeup and two-seamer in his attack throughout the game if he wants to fully embrace development.
Now, Lamet did do this against southpaws, his normal weakness, as he was a three offering pitcher, working in the changeup over twenty percent of the time on his way to a strong performance; you would have liked to see him mix in the two-seamer as well, but it was encouraging to see him diversify his attack.
Now, the problem is that Lamet only threw the fastball and slider to right-handers during the game. In an incredible testament to the talent of those two pitches, he managed to hold right-handers to a .154 average, but that isn’t the point. There has been extensive work done on a pitcher’s ability to thrive the second and third times through the order (TTO), and the research overwhelmingly says that a pitcher will not regularly succeed with only two pitches.
Since Lamet has a plus slider and a plus fastball, he’s been able to avoid the TTO Penalty and keep hitters off-balance, but it is the first time major leaguers have seen him. As they adjust and teams get more video on his attack, it could become a bumpy ride as it was the previous two games if he doesn’t provide a more balanced plan.
Lamet has plenty of time to develop, but it would behoove the Padres’ coaching staff to make diversifying against both right-handers and left-handers throughout the game a high priority. Nevertheless, it was a step in the right direction against left-handers and another flash of Lamet’s vast potential.