Mat Latos was as impressive as expected yesterday, but with a restrictive pitch and inning count in place for the 21-year-old, should he really be in an MLB starting rotation?
Major League Baseball is a results business. The phrase, "what have you done for me lately?" was designed for the everyday grind of the big leagues. While bad teams often have young players take their lumps at the major league level, once you reach The Show, it's time to go. Develop players in the minors, unleash them in the majors.
Or, if you are the San Diego Padres, you can just copy the minor league feel and take it right to the top.
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Sunday afternoon at Petco Park, the Padres trotted out their top minor league pitcher and revealed him to the world. Mat Latos is 6'6", with a fastball that hummed between 95-97 MPH. His breaking ball looked like a hammer, although he threw it sparingly. Latos hit the corners effectively and threw four strong innings. His fastball was fairly straight but had decent late movement up in the zone. He got stung for a long homerun by Ian Stewart but otherwise looked pretty solid.
Then, after four innings and 75 pitches, Latos was on the bench and the Padres were into their bullpen.