The San Diego Padres team is full of many personalities and a lot of different fan favorites. Kevin Quackenbush is surely becoming a crowd favorite, not only his interesting last name, but his play on the field. He has been solid in his short tenure in the Padres bullpen.
You often hear the calls of Quack! Quack! Quack!, once he enters the game. Even the occasional sound of a duck call can be heard reverberating through the seats of Petco Park. It to me is reminiscent of the old goose calls the Padres gave away as a promotion for Rich Gossage the former Padres closer. Gossage was affectionately known as “Goose”by the fans and his teammates. perhaps the promotions department at Petco should start making Quackenbush Padres duck calls. The fans would but em for sure. When that comes to fruition, I expect my cut in the deal Padres management.
Kevin Quackenbush, beside being promotional department gold for the team, is one heck of a pitcher. Quackenbush was drafted out of the University of South Florida in 2011. He was a second team All-American that year after being the teams closer and recording a school record 0.80 ERA and 12 saves for the Bulls. Quackenbush fell to the 8th round of the draft before the Padres selected him there. He has proven to be a very wise selection by the Padres organization. The team always seems to do well when drafting pitchers.
Pitching for three different teams in 2012, Quackenbush recorded a 1.18 ERA and 1.034 WHIP in 68 innings. He struck out 86 batters that year along the way to 33 saves. He spent the entire 2013 season in AA and AAA and recorded a 1.66 ERA with 17 saves for the Padres. Quackenbush made his debut with the team on April 25, 2014 and recorded his first save on August 19th. He finished the 2014 season with very respectable numbers for a rookie. A 2.48 ERA and 1.104 WHIP in 56 games and 54 innings pitched. He also saved six games for the Padres down the stretch when the team dealt Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit was shelved with a shoulder issue.
Quackenbush is not dominant as far as his arsenal. He does not throw in the mid to high 90’s. He does however go right after hitters and his aggressiveness more than makes up for his lack of velocity. Quackebush has a very deceptive motion, and that mixed with his decent secondary pitches proves to be very difficult on major league hitters. The 6 foot 4 inch right-handed hurler is only 26 years old and has a very bright future in the league. His beard and unorthodox motion are unmistakable to baseball fans.
This season after surprisingly starting the year in AAA with the El Paso Chihuahuas, he has been solid once again. Quackenbush currently sits with a 1.88 ERA in 14 innings for the team. He has mainly worked out of the set-up position, but he could close if the team needs him to. I can’t speak too much about the moxie of this young man. He just has that look about him that is needed to be a successful major league reliever. He wants the ball and is not afraid to attack hitters. Any hitters.
In this day and age of modern baseball, most bullpens are made out from flame throwing relievers that just chuck the ball to the plate as hard as they can. It is refreshing to see a pitcher who works in and out and pounds the strike zone with a fastball that tops out at 93 MPH. Kevin Quackenbush is an unsung hero of the Padres team and we should all appreciate this young pitcher and the effort he has put in for this team. A crowd favorite and a pitcher who is endearing himself to the Padres management as well, here is to you Mr. Quackenbush. Keep up the great work!