Latos could be moved back in rotation

Latos could be moved back in rotation

WASHINGTON -- While much talk has been devoted to whether Nationals rookie right-hander Stephen Strasburg should have made the All-Star Game, the Padres have a young arm worthy of consideration, too.

Right-hander Mat Latos, 22, boasts a 9-4 record this season with a 2.62 ERA and 91 strikeouts. In his most recent start -- a 3-0 win against Houston on Friday -- he did not allow a run on four hits in eight innings.

But while Latos has been one of the top pitchers in the Major Leagues, Padres manager Bud Black said he has considered moving him to the back of the rotation due to inning limits.

"More than likely, he will be moved back a number of days after the break to try to maximize his starts as we move into August and September," Black said. "We've talked about the innings, we've talked about the starts. We're conscious of that, because of where he's been -- last year at 120 innings, the year before that 55.

"We got to watch it, just based on recent history of some pitchers who have followed his timeline."

Latos has pitched 99 2/3 innings this season. Black said Latos' final season limit would be in the range of 150 to 185 total innings.