Padres Birthday Spotlights: Miguel Diaz, Kevin Quackenbush, and Carlos Villanueva

Credit: USA Today Sports

There are a handful of birthdays today that pertain to the San Diego Padres. Current Padres pitcher Miguel Diaz turns 23, former reliever Kevin Quackenbush turns 29, and it is the 34th birthday of Carlos Villanueva.

The Brewers signed Diaz back in 2011 as an amateur free agent. Diaz came to the Padres via trade with the Minnesota Twins in December of last year. It didn’t come with much buzz as he was dealt for Justin Haley. Diaz started the 2017 season in the Padres’ big league bullpen. He did not allow an earned run in his first four career appearances.

He pitched in 31 games total, and even started three. It will be interesting to see if the Padres continue to pursue that. In those three starts, he had a 4.70 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. His first start came in June against the Kansas City Royals. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Diaz finished the season with a 7.34 ERA in 41 2/3 innings. At worst, he seems to be a middle-of-the-bullpen option for 2018.

For some, Quackenbush was a Padre too long, and for a few others, he was gone too soon. “Quack” was drafted by the Padres in the 8th round of the 2011 draft. He broke into the big leagues in 2014. He appeared in 56 games that year with a stellar 2.48 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 54 innings. That was easily his best as a Padre. In the next three seasons, his lowest ERA was in 2016 (3.92 in 60 games).

Last season was a disaster for the bearded right-hander. In 20 games in 2017, he posted a 7.86 ERA, allowing 23 runs. The Padres granted him free agency last month. He finishes his Padres career with 193 total appearances. He recently signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Carlos Villanueva was signed by the Giants back in 2002. He broke into the big leagues in 2006 with the Brewers.

He has made stops in Toronto, Chicago (Cubs), and St. Louis as well. He has made three postseason appearances without allowing a run, for the 2008 Brewers and 2015 Cardinals.

Villanueva’s Friars career was brief. The Dominican right-hander pitched 51 games for San Diego in 2016. He had a 5.96 ERA and allowed 17 home runs in 74 innings. Before the 2017 season, he signed with the Korean League’s Hanwha Eagles and pitched 20 games for them.

Happy Birthday, fellas.

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