Buy Mat Latos – Latos burst on the scene last year after starting 10 games for the Padres in 2009. The power right-hander was simply dominating much of the campaign with a 2.92 ERA including an amazing 10-1 stretch. His peripheral numbers were strong as well with 189 strikeouts to just 50 walks in 185 innings of work.
The workload however was a real issue and the Padres skipped his turn a few times in order to preserve his arm. But in the heat of a pennant race, the Padres needed high leverage innings from their ace and unfortunately, he faded down the stretch (1-5, 5.65 ERA in September and October). Questions lingered moving forward to 2011 on how Latos would respond to the hefty workload. Once spring training hit, it was clear he wasn’t responding well. Latos finally admitted he was having soreness in his shoulder and the Padres were forced to place him on disabled list. He returned in mid-April, but his 2010 form was still missing. His velocity was down, and the overall crispness of his stuff was lacking. By May ninth his ERA stood at a whopping 4.86.
Latos though managed to find his groove mechanically on May 15th with a strong outing in Colorado against the Rockies. He followed that up with a decent showing against Seattle and then really showed promise last time out against St. Louis, consistently hitting 95-96 MPH on the radar gun with seven strikeouts to no walks. It appears all is right with the big right-hander and given the Padres’ struggles, I would expect more than a few juicy prices on his upcoming starts.