The Padres made a smattering of moves today, mostly in regards to their pitching. Most importantly, they gave a shimmer of light regarding one of their best players.
Getting optioned to the minors is Brad Wieck and replacing him in the bullpen will be Miguel Diaz, who has been activated off the 60-Day IL. Replacing him on the IL is Matt Strahm, who will be hitting the 10-Day IL with what is being described as a left rib sprain. Cal Quantrill was recalled from Triple-A to make the start today against the Philadelphia Phillies while local product Alex Dickerson was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Diaz.
A light was also given to Padres’ fans regarding Fernando Tatis, Jr. who, after spending a couple of days with Amarillo, could be making his return to the team as early as Thursday.
The IL visit for Strahm is surprising as there were no previous reports of an injury. The injury, which is characterized more as soreness, may have affected him in his previous outing, where he allowed seven runs in just 4.1 innings against the Miami Marlins. He is expected to miss the minimum time, but he could miss longer should the injury persist.
The injury to Strahm gives the newest call-up, Quantrill, a chance to stick in the Majors. While the former first-round pick does carry a 5.14 ERA in 21 innings, a majority of the damage has come in the first inning as he sports a 15.75 ERA in the first inning. He did, however, have a good start against Toronto on May 25, allowing three runs in six innings while striking out nine. It is likely that San Diego will need to call up another starter in the coming days.
After a disappointing stretch in the pen, Wieck will be packing his bags for El Paso. In 18.2 innings, Wieck posted an ERA of 6.25, 11.09 K/9, and a 2.89 BB/9. His advanced numbers of somewhat of a better picture, (5.99 FIP, 4.38 xFIP, and a 3.53 SIERRA) but his recent struggles prompted the demotion. Diaz will be taking his spot in the bullpen and making his 2019 debut after having surgery for a torn meniscus in February. He completed a six-game rehab assignment with Double-A Amarillo during which he compiled a 4.37 ERA and 33:8 K:BB in 22.2 innings.
In response to this, Dickerson was designated for assignment in a corresponding move. After setting Triple-A ablaze, Dickerson made his triumphant return to the Padres after three injury-riddled seasons, but the fanfare quickly sputtered out as he struggled to a .158/.158/.158 batting line with two RBI. San Diego can option him to El Paso, but they will first have to pass him through waivers.
Concerning Tatis, he is currently on a rehab assignment in Amarillo. After playing two games of nine and six innings and going 2-for-5 with three walks, a run scored and a stolen base, the rookie sensation is nearing a return to San Diego and could be back by the end of the week. The Padres have been 15-18 with him on the IL, so Tatis’ return to the lineup will be welcomed by all.