Scott Munter, Starting Pitcher?

Anyone who follows the Padres system knows that the Triple-A Portland Beavers have lacked rotation depth all year long. Radhames Liz and Will Inman have been solid, and Cesar Carrillo has been passable, and Josh Geer…has eaten innings, I suppose.

Geer doesn’t really belong in the Beavers rotation: he’s got a 6.27 ERA, can’t keep the ball in the park, and doesn’t strike anyone out. But he’s not even the worst starter on the team.

The Beavers don’t really have a fifth starter at all. Wade LeBlanc was the other starter to open the season, but he was quickly recalled. Matt Buschmann was promoted from Double-A to take his spot, but put up a 9.38 ERA in 24 innings. Nate Culp, another Double-A callup, wasn’t any better. The Beavers used the spot for Sean Gallagher and Tim Stauffer’s rehabs, then gave High-A pitcher Anthony Bass a start last Saturday, in which he pitched poorly.

That makes Josh Geer and his durability look pretty good, doesn’t it?

The Padres don’t want to rush any of their bevy of Double-A hotshots, so they’ve turned to the only other real option: stretch out a reliever.

Scott Munter got the start tonight. Munter is a former San Francisco Giant sinkerballer who’s having a nice season (2.45 ERA, 34/11 K/BB, just one homer allowed). At age 30, he’s not a premium prospect, so he’s the sort of guy an organization can afford to move around to accommodate more “important” players.

Munter’s first start? Two innings, one hit, no other baserunners, no strikeouts.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Padres continue to stretch Munter out to see if he can help in the Portland rotation the rest of the year, or if this is just a one-time thing. Munter’s solid outing certainly doesn’t hurt his case to see his role expanded.

The Beavers may have finally found their fifth starter. Now, to replace Geer…

Tags: Josh Geer Portland Beavers Scott Munter

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