Robbie Erlin was called up to the majors in late August, and showed he has the ability to be an effective major league pitcher. In his final five starts, the left-hander went 2-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings pitched. Erlin earned a chance to start in 2014, but he will remain a work in progress.
Erlin spent most of the 2013 season with the Triple-A Tucson Padres*, and pitched well enough to earn an 8-3 record. His record showed promise, but his 5.07 ERA did not. In addition, Erlin was inconsistent in his four starts for the San Diego Padres before the All-Star break. Erlin may need more time to develop in the minors before he is ready to contribute to the big league squad on a consistent basis.
San Diego needs left-handers in their starting rotation, and will most likely re-sign Eric Stults to be their top lefty. Erlin and Stults are both finesse pitchers, and nicely complement the power-pitching righties, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. We will see Erlin in the rotation at some point in 2014, and hopefully he will build on his late season success to become the consistent starter that we need him to be.
* The Tucson Padres are moving to El Paso, Texas in 2014, and have been renamed the El Paso Chihuahuas.
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