Padres debut will bring Pomeranz full circle

Southpaw will start in Colorado, where he began his big league career

Padres debut will bring Pomeranz full circle

DENVER -- There's a funny sort of symmetry to baseball sometimes.

Drew Pomeranz began his career with three roller-coaster years in Colorado. He was drafted in 2010 and was thrown right into the fire, making his big league debut in '11. Pomeranz largely struggled, posting a 5.20 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.

After a couple seasons in Oakland, spent primarily as a reliever, the 27-year-old southpaw joined the Padres in the offseason trade that sent Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski to the A's. Pomeranz won a starting job in camp, and he'll make his debut with San Diego on Saturday -- where else? -- in Colorado against his former club.

"I had an opportunity that most people don't have -- to learn about pro ball in the big leagues -- because I was up here in my first year," Pomeranz said of his time with the Rockies. "I think I'm a more well-rounded pitcher than I was here. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll pitch better. It just means I have a better understanding of pitching in the big leagues."

When Pomeranz takes the mound at Coors Field on Saturday, it'll be the first time he's done so since his final appearance with Colorado -- a September 2013 relief outing against Boston.

"When I was here, I was battling through mechanical things a lot," Pomeranz said. "I was constantly changing, searching for the right mechanics. I had times where I found them and times where I didn't, but I was young."

Pomeranz has since developed a cutter to add to his arsenal -- a pitch he began throwing this spring, to much success. He also feels more confident in his changeup, which, according to Fangraphs, he's thrown only 40 times over the past three seasons combined.

But Pomeranz's bread and butter has always been his fastball/curveball mix. His fastball typically sits close to 92 mph, complemented by a deceptive curve around 80, with a lot of depth to it.

That was the mix Pomeranz used in three seasons pitching for the Rockies -- and that's the mix he'll use Saturday when he faces them at Coors Field for the first time.

"He shows up right here on their doorstep," said Padres manager Andy Green with a smile. "The game's got a way of doing that."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.