May 8, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Brandon Maurer against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Padres defeated the Diamondbacks 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Friar of the Week
The Padres had another one of those frustrating weeks where they didn’t exactly play badly but they also didn’t bust out and seize control of at least second place in the NL West. While Justin Upton continues to pound the ball and Matt Kemp ended the week on a solid note, the offense seems to be all or nothing. Early on the bullpen was a big struggle for the Padres. While this week was not exempt from issues, one man has really stepped up to stabilize the bullpen. Brandon Maurer. In the month of May, Maurer leads the Padres bullpen in appearances (tied with Dale Thayer) and innings pitched with 8 and 9 respectively. In that span he has allowed 0 runs and just 4 hits. Between himself and Kevin Quackenbush who has only allowed 1 run in 8 1/3, at least in games they lead it has now stabilized what was becoming a liability.
Maurer made several starts last season for Seattle and it will be interesting to see if the Padres do turn to him if rotation options keep on struggling. Kennedy has struggled in several starts now and looks more like his 2012 Arizona version than the 2014 version that led the Padres in innings pitched. Despaigne has turned in two straight clunkers and if the Padres are counting on injury risk Josh Johnson to stabilize this rotation it could lead to trouble. What about working Johnson in slowly by being in the bullpen and giving a few spot starts to Maurer? Robbie Erlin is also waiting in AAA for his recall, but he isn’t exactly tearing it up with an ERA over 5. Maurer could fill the spot that Tim Stauffer filled for the Padres the last few years giving versatility between the bullpen and rotation.
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