SAN DIEGO -- The Padres aren't officially committing to having 21-year-old rookie Mat Latos make one more start, though general manager Kevin Towers certainly sounded like that would be the case. Towers said that if Latos does indeed take a turn in the rotation on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, it will be his last outing of the season. "I don't see anything beyond that," he said.
Towers' preference was to shut down Latos after his start on Sunday in Miami, where he allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins. Latos has thrown 120 innings between the Minor Leagues and with San Diego. But Padres manager Bud Black appealed to Towers to give Latos, who is 4-4 with a 4.53 ERA in nine starts with the Padres, a chance for one more start. "Buddy and the staff said he threw so well [against Florida] that it would be nice to let him finish on a strong note," Towers said. In that start against the Marlins, Latos didn't allow a run over the first three innings. The Marlins then scored five runs in the fourth inning en route to a 6-4 victory. Towers and the Padres have talked often about being cautious with Latos' workload. He threw 56 1/3 innings last season in the Minor Leagues, and Towers said, as a general rule of thumb, he doesn't like pitchers to more than double their innings from year to year. Black said before Tuesday's game against the Nationals that if Latos pitches again it will be this weekend. The Padres have an off-day on Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, which would allow them to mix their rotation if they chose. As Towers stated two weeks ago, when Latos is shut down, he will become a "student of the game." That still means throwing some on the side and working out with the Padres. The hope is Latos can glean a few things from watching the game and listening to other pitchers on the staff. Towers also said the Padres will likely add between three and four pitchers sometime this month. The candidates are Double-A San Antonio's Ernesto Frieri, Triple-A Portland's Cesar Ramos and Josh Banks and possibly Edward Mujica, who is already with the Padres and could get a spot start.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.