Perdomo riding the learning curve

Notes on Jankowski, Myers, Rondon, etc.

Perdomo riding the learning curve

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

One of the more enjoyable parts of this Padres season is watching Luis Perdomo develop.

The 23-year-old right-hander has gone from an overmatched mop-up reliever as a Rule 5 Draft pick to the most dependable starter in the Padres' decimated rotation.

Perdomo just gets better and better as he gains confidence in his sinker as a wipe-out weapon.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell praised Perdomo late Monday night although the pitcher suffered the loss in the Brewers' 3-2 win at Petco Park. Perdomo gave up three runs on 10 hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. He had six strikeouts while throwing a career-high 113 pitches.

Of course, one of those pitches was rocketed by Ryan Braun for a home run that broke a 1-1 tie.

"Perdomo was pretty tough," said Counsell. "His sinker was good, but Braun got a slider."

Tuesday night was the eighth straight start during which Perdomo powered his earned run average. Of course, it was as high as 54.00 after his first appearance on Opening Day against the Dodgers. Now it is 6.67.

Perdomo has gone 3-3 over his past seven starts with a 4.07 ERA, and he has worked six of more innings in five of those starts. Perdomo has given up three or fewer runs in eight of his past 10 starts.

"I'm really pleased with Luis," said Padres manager Andy Green. "The breaking ball to Braun wasn't the best selection, but he's improving right before our eyes. We all love the development we've seen. A year ago at this time, Perdomo was still pitching in low [Class] A.

"We can see what Perdomo has when we see the faces of some of the game's best hitters after facing Perdomo."

Remember Juan Encarnacion's comment when the Toronto slugger recently struck out against Perdomo: "Where did this guy come from?"

Perdomo is not a finished product. There is still much to do. As with Braun, Perdomo misses with pitches.

So, what is next?

"He has to get better at holding runners on," said Green. "It's the next step in his progression."

But the bottom line - Perdomo is progressing . . . and at a much faster pace than expected.

Notes from the scorebook

• Infielder-outfielder Alexi Amarista went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with the hamstring strain he suffered Monday night. He was 7-for-12 with two RBIs and two steals since returning from Triple-A El Paso on July 27. Amarista missed 27 games earlier in the season (April 19-May 18) with a strained right hamstring. He was hitting .280 when he went on the disabled list.

• Center fielder Travis Jankowski had reached base in six straight plate appearances when he struck out in the third inning Tuesday night. A scoring change gave him a third stolen base Monday night, with the addition being a steal of home. Jankowski is 5-for-11 over his past three games.

• Green says Jose Rondon is the Padres' shortstop as long as he's with the club. Rondon was recalled from Double-A San Antonio on Tuesday a day after being optioned to the Missions to replace the injured Amarista on the 25-man roster. Rondon, who started two games last weekend. Green has told veteran shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who started 98 of the first 103 games, that he is no longer the starting shortstop.

• Tuesday was memorable for Jabari Blash, who returned from Triple-A El Paso on Monday to become Matt Kemp's successor in right field. Blash was 2-for-3. It was his first multihit game. He also drove in his first run and scored his first run.

• First baseman Wil Myers is hitting .333 (68-for-204) at Petco Park this season, with 16 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs, 39 RBIs and 41 runs scored in 53 games.