Tonight marks the return of wunderkind Jesse Hahn to the Padres’ rotation. Hahn was sent down to the El Paso club prior to the All-Star break to allow some roster flexibility. He will start tonight’s game against the Braves.
Jace Peterson took Hahn’s place on the roster in the interim, and has been sent back to El Paso to make room for Hahn.
Manager Bud Black sent Hahn down on July 12, after his last start on July 11, because the Padres’ schedule did not require a fifth starter until tonight. Black is using Hahn in the fifth starter role in part to cut down on the number of innings Hahn throws this year.
Hahn had Tommy John surgery in 2010 while at Virginia Tech, and made his professional debut in 2012. As is common for pitchers coming off of TJ, his innings have been watched very closely since the surgery. In 2012, he threw 52 innings, followed by 69 last year. While the Padres have not released a statement about limiting Hahn’s innings, earlier this year, the number 110 was mentioned. Hahn has thrown 81 innings already this season, 40.1 in the minors, and 40.2 for the big league squad.
Hahn has been, in a word, spectacular in his debut season. In seven starts, he is 5-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, while averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. After a mediocre first game, he has allowed only 21 hits in 37 innings, and hasn’t allowed an earned run in three of his last six starts. In total, he has allowed 11 runs in 7 starts.
Hahn has also captured the attention of Padres’ fans, who can’t seem to get enough of him.
We’re glad to see him back in a San Diego uniform tonight.