The San Diego Padres added more pitching depth on Tuesday by claiming Tyrell Jenkins off waivers. The journeyman can compete for a spot in the club’s rotation, but can help in the bullpen if he doesn’t take on a starting role.
With the offseason winding down, it is time for the San Diego Padres to consider making some of their final roster improvements. So far, the offseason has been productive on many fronts, but the pitching staff as a whole remains an uncertainty.
Fans can feel slightly better about the whole situation on Tuesday though, as general manager A.J. Preller brought in another young right-hander with major league experience on Tuesday.
Tyrell Jenkins, a 6’4″, 210 lb. righty started eight games with the Atlanta Braves in 2016, and appeared in six others. Though his rookie season raised some concern, the verdict is still out when it comes to Jenkins due to the small sample size of major league play.
A 3.57 ERA in nine starts in AAA Gwinnett warranted the 24-year-old the opportunity to go to the majors, appearing for the first time this past season.
Consistency in the upper minor leagues is what stands out most about Jenkins, proving that giving him an extended look is not a bad idea. Over 129 games at AAA, a large sample size, Jenkins kept his ERA under three.
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It has been quite a rocky offseason for Jenkins, as he has gone from a member of the Braves to the Rangers, the Reds, and now the Padres. A trade sent him to Texas earlier this December, and the Reds claimed him off waivers on Christmas Eve. Now in San Diego, it appears that he will remain with the Padres and provide depth to a thin and inexperienced pitching staff.
Where Jenkins fits in is still unknown, and there is legitimate concern he won’t make an immediate impact in 2017. After all, the 2010 first round draft pick walked more than he struck out in his first 52 major league innings. Jenkins can struggle with command at times, making it less likely he will make the rotation. Without a doubt though, the Padres need bullpen aid. A long inning relief option like Jenkins could end up alleviating some pressure from a rotation to get into the seventh inning.
With just over a month remaining in the offseason, the Padres could be pretty much done making additions. The waiver wire is still an option, but the pitching staff is more than likely virtually set. This one final reinforcement rounds out an offseason which undoubtedly improved a rotation which was clearly previously a weak spot on the roster.