Who is Jean Corpas, you ask? I’ll bet almost nobody outside of the Padres organization knows. Hell, I didn’t know until…about 90 seconds before I wrote this sentence.
Corpas, 19, is a right-handed pitcher who currently pitches for the Padres team in the Dominican Summer League.
He’s having a decent season, with a 4.31 ERA and 24/11 K/BB ratio.
But what really sticks out about Corpas is that he’s made five relief appearances and four starts this year.
That might not seem important in the least, but his team has played 18 games.
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If a pitcher starts every fifth game, sure, he could have four starts in 18 games. But how in hell could Corpas have five relief appearances as well?
His game log is even more extraordinary:
May 29: 4 inning relief appearance
June 4: 3 2/3 inning relief appearance
June 5: 1 inning relief appearance
June 7: 2 1/3 inning relief appearance
June 9: 4 inning start
June 11: 4 inning start
June 12: 2 inning relief appearance
June 16: 6 inning start
June 17: 4 1/3 inning start
It looks odd but normal enough through June 7, and then it just goes nuts. That’s four starts and a 2 inning relief appearance in a nine-day span. Back to back starts on June 16 and 17.
What is this, backyard baseball?
I mean, sure, people pitch in back-to-back days all the time. I used to throw hundreds of pitches just playing wiffleball and such with my friends in the summer (and now I have shoulder issues because of it). HS and college pitchers often throw unbelievable amounts of pitches, and often work on short rest.
But there’s a big difference there. I threw a ton of pitches every day in the summer because, well, I felt like it. I certainly wasn’t jeopardizing a potential long baseball career (or was I? We’ll never know). HS and college pitchers are often being milked for short-term gain by their coaches. If a guy’s arm gives out in the pros because of that, it’s not the amateur coach’s problem.
But this? The Padres have a vested interest in trying to extract long-term value from every one of their low-level prospects, Corpas certainly included, so I really can’t wrap my head around why on earth they’d do this. And it’s not like this is some sort of Nolan Ryan-esque philosophy being applied to everyone: Corpas has nearly twice as many innings as anyone else on the DSL Padres.
Maybe he has a durable frame or something, but he’s listed at 6’2″ 170, which isn’t exactly sturdy-sounding. Plus, he’s 19, for crying out loud!
Maybe there’s some bigger plan in mind here that I don’t know about; information about Dominican complexes is scarce to say the least. But this just seems like ridiculous mismanagement of a resource, even if Jean Corpas isn’t exactly the hottest commodity in the San Diego organization.