Apr 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) is forced out by San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko (9) on the front end of a double play during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
I’ve already mentioned some about the middle inning struggles of the Padres bullpen, so wanted to explore that slightly more in depth in this space. We know that Craig Kimbrel aside from the loss the other night has been great for the Padres in the 9th as that losing run was the first he has allowed all season. Joaquin Benoit likewise has been just as good if not better than last year. He is 3-0 which is more attributable to luck than anything he has done, but to go with that record is a tidy 1 earned run allowed in 8 innings with 8 strikeouts. Dale Thayer has been superb again in the 7th and even went two innings in Saturday’s loss. He too has only allowed 1 run and 1 walk in just over 6 innings of work. So where is the issue?
Shawn Kelley has allowed 5 ER in 5 innings and walked 4. Brandon Maurer has allowed 3 ER in 4 IP with 2 walks. Nick Vincent was sent down to AAA after 3 appearances where he allowed 6 hits in 3 1/3 innings and 3 earned runs. Rearick has only made two appearances but did allow a run in his Saturday appearances and Garces has allowed 1 run in 4 appearances.
Now for Kelley he really can’t be sent down without giving another team the option to snatch him up because of his tenure. Rearick provides another lefty along with Garces but why don’t we call up Kevin Quackenbush and help him full out the bullpen with another dependable hard-thrower to turn to? We shall see.
Also, though he pick up two hits on Sunday, he still finished the week 3-16 in 4 games after taking a few days off to work on his swing. Solarte in his stead this week went 5-13 with a game tying hit on Saturday and a home run on Sunday. He now leads the Padres with a .357 batting average. Can he pass for a shortstop too?
Next: Week Summary and Preview