Padres keep adding, sign three-time All-Star Mark Melancon

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

It seems as if San Diego president of baseball operations and GM AJ Preller isn’t done quite yet, adding another reliever to an already-deep bullpen on Friday.

The Padres have reportedly signed veteran right-hander Mark Melancon, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic. The soon-to-be 36-year-old reliever is coming off another strong showing as a member of the Braves, making 23 appearances and working to a 2.78 ERA.

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For the better part of the last decade, Melancon has been one of the premier relievers in the National League. Since 2013, he’s amassed 459 appearances – finishing out 281 contests and racking up 184 saves. He’s done this all while compiling a 2.43 ERA/2.58 FIP and a 1.087 WHIP.

Prior to this addition, Emilio Pagan and Drew Pomeranz were the front-runners for the ninth-inning role. But given his experience, we may see Melancon get the nod heading into the season.

For those of you unfamiliar with Melancon, there are some things you need to know: he’s not going to overpower many hitters and he’s definitely a pitch-to-contact guy at this point in his career. He especially thrives on keeping the ball on the ground.

Padres will change up the look in adding Mark Melancon

Taking a closer look at his 2020 season, the right-hander ranked in the top 16 percent in barrel rate, top third of the league in curve spin and top quarter of all qualified pitchers in xwOBA. He did this while also ranking in the bottom six percent in strikeout rate and bottom eight percent in whiff rate.

Again, this goes to tell you how effective Melancon is at inducing ineffective contact. As far as his arsenal goes, this is how it breaks down. He throws four pitches: a cutter, curve ball, split finger and four-seamer. But while he has all four pitches, he relies primarily on his cutter and breaking ball, throwing those two pitches some 94.1 percent of the time.

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Melancon brings a degree of established experience to this Padres bullpen. If he can keep working around contact, he’ll bring a nice change of pace to the mix.