Former infield prospect Javy Guerra should make his debut as a pitcher this September for the San Diego Padres.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, shortstop-turned-reliever Javy Guerra is to join the big league club when rosters expand in September to make his debut as a pitcher at the major league level.
Guerra, a native of Panama, was acquired by the Padres in November of 2015 in the deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston.
At the time, Guerra was coming off a superb year for Low A Greenville where he had posted a .279/.329/.449 slash line and racked up 15 home runs while playing shortstop. Guerra was one of the headline pieces in return to the Padres that also included Manuel Margot, Logan Allen, and Carlos Asuaje. At one point Guerra was considered to be the possible shortstop of the future for the Padres but struggles both with fielding errors and at the plate left him far behind other rising middle infield prospects like Fernando Tatís jr. and Luis Urías.
Guerra made a brief appearance with the Padres last season where he appeared in thirteen games, collecting two hits in 16 at-bats, and striking out nine times. The bulk of the year was spent with Triple-A El Paso as he posted his third straight season in the Padres season where he failed to match the production Guerra reached in 2015 as he finished with a line of .223/.269/.398.
Despite his documented struggles on his defense, Guerra racked up 65 errors between 2015 and 2018, he was noted for having a plus arm for a shortstop. This past off season, the Padres decided to see what that arm could do on the mound. So far, it’s worked out fairly well. The fastball has been electric for Guerra as it sits in the high 90s and he’s demonstrated good control and has the numbers to show for it. Through 21.1 innings between Lake Elsinore and Amarillo, Guerra has a 3.38 ERA to go along with a very respectable 1.172 WHIP. In his brief time as a reliever, he’s racked up thirty strikeouts to ten walks and has managed to limit hard contact as well as he’s allowed just three home runs on the season.
Javy Guerra records his first strikeout of the night
— Austin Hartsfield (@HartsfieldPC) August 31, 2019
Already on the 40-man roster, the Padres do not need to make a corresponding move to make room for his pending promotion. Guerra’s future with the organization will depend mainly on how he looks against major league competition over these final few weeks of the season. The 23-year-old Guerra now has an opportunity to join fellow flame thrower Andres Muñoz in cementing their spots in the back end of the Padres bullpen heading into 2020.