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Olney: Padres must save Chris Paddack for October

Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Paddack is on an innings limit. But San Diego has a shot at the playoffs -- and the Padres can't let their ace not be ready for them. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

If the voting for the National League Rookie of the Year were held today, the choice would probably come down to two players who have quickly developed an odd rivalry, the Padres' Chris Paddack and the Mets' Pete Alonso. Paddack leads all rookie pitchers in WAR, and Alonso leads all position players.

But it seems likely this particular ballot showdown will be interrupted by that modern-day phenomenon known as an innings count -- and Paddack will be pulled off the field. And if the Padres aren't careful in their plans, they could veer into a situation that haunts the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg to this day.