Mat Latos has been placed on the 15-day DL with an oblique injury said to have resulted from holding back a sneeze.
To take his place, the Padres are turning to reliever Tim Stauffer in the rotation and have called up Triple-A closer Ernesto Frieri to serve in middle relief.
There’s been much speculation that Latos, whom the Padres had publicly stated they wanted to rest, has simply been placed on the DL with the first thing that sounds convenient to prevent him from needing to be on the active roster while he’s shut down.
GM Jed Hoyer has insisted that the injury is “on the up and up,” and I’m inclined to believe him. After all, the injury’s only supposed to keep Latos out for the 15-day minimum, and the move was made retroactively, so he’d come off the DL around July 24, missing one start. That doesn’t sound like the 30-inning rest most people have been expecting, so while the timing is nice in some respects, I don’t think this was premeditated.
Stauffer has a 0.37 ERA in 24 1/3 innings for the Padres. If he does need to make a start, it will be his second of the year. Stauffer also made several starts in Triple-A.
Frieri, soon to be 25, threw two no-hit innings for the Padres last season. He’d spent this year in Portland, posting a 1.43 ERA, nailing down 17 saves, and posting a solid 49/18 K/BB in 37 1/3 innings. He incredibly allowed just 14 hits.
The Colombian righty was Portland’s lone Triple-A All-Star.