The San Diego Padres announced just prior to the start of their series opener against the visiting Chicago Cubs that left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin was being placed on the 15-day disabled list in what general manager Josh Byrnes believes will be a “two to three start” absence. The team had Erlin undergo a precautionary MRI, and while the results were not announced, the team felt it was best to make the move now to avoid further injury.
Tim Stauffer will take Erlin’s turn in the rotation this weekend against the Cubs. With an open roster spot, the Padres have recalled Blaine Boyer from Triple-A El Paso. In 18 appearances in 2014, Boyer has a 3.32 ERA. His last appearance at the big league level came all the way back in 2011 as a member of the New York Mets.
Erlin, who has been pitching with tenderness in his elbow over the past handful of starts, has been attempting to tough it out, posting a 3-4 record with a 4.53 ERA through 8 starts in 9 appearances.
There wasn’t really one specific time, I just felt it over the last few starts. Game situations it felt all right. But between starts I kind of felt it while playing catch…[It's] a little bit of pain, in the throwing motion. I’ve just had some strains before. This is not quite as severe. Just taking the precautionary route — hopefully take a little bit of time to save a lot of time.”
The Padres are being cautious with Erlin, having already lost Josh Johnson for the season due to Tommy John surgery, and placing staff ace Andrew Cashner on the disabled list earlier in the week. Cashner’s injury was originally thought to be season-ending, but a recommendation of rest and rehabilitation may see his return before the summer is over. The pitching staff has been the strength of a team that cannot find consistent run production in 2014, and if the staff continues to get hit by injuries, it could be a very long summer in San Diego.