RHP Cesar Vargas is in San Diego and scheduled to start tomorrow night’s game which will be his @MLB debut.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 22, 2016
None of #Padres AAA starters has sub-6.00 ERA. Cesar Vargas (12.2 IP, 2 R, 5 H, BB, 14 K in AA; on 40-man) might be best bet for Saturday.
Originally signed by the Yankees in 2009 as a non-drafted free agent, Vargas spent six years in the Yankees organization before being signed by the Padres last offseason. Despite operating in mainly a relief role near the end of his stint with the Yankees, the 24-year-old righty was given the chance to start for the Padres Double-A affiliate out of spring training. So far, Vargas has pitched 12 and 2/3 innings over his first two starts, with a 1.42 ERA and 1.25 FIP. Vargas has struck out nearly 10 batter per nine inning and walked less than a batter per nine innings.
Even though Vargas only threw five and 1/3 Triple-A innings last season with the Yankees, the young right hander will be skipping Triple-A completely with the Padres and going right to the majors. It remains to be seen if that is a temporary move, likely given the impending returns of Robbie Erlin and Tyson Ross sometime in the next few weeks. However, if Vargas can perform well at the big league level on Saturday, the Padres may have to find a way to keep him on the big league roster going forward. Either way, it will definitely be interesting to see how he fairs in his MLB debut on Saturday night.
In related roster move news, the Padres sent RHP Leonel Campos back down to Triple-A El Paso and also called up infielder Jose Pirela. It still remains to be seen what corresponding roster move will be made now that both Pirela and Vargas are up.