After yet another Padres bullpen collapse in Saturday’s 12-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals, during which the Royals scored nine runs in the 8th inning, the Padres appear to be making moves in their bullpen.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) June 11, 2017
With the bullpen struggling mightily, the Padres’ front office is looking to shake things up with the addition of right-hander Phil Maton, who has been dominating in Triple-A in recent weeks. In a corresponding move, Kevin Quackenbush was demoted to Triple-A, freeing a 25-man roster spot while right-hander Jake Esch was designated for assignment, freeing a 40-man roster spot for Maton.
Originally drafted in the 20th round by the Padres in the 2015 MLB Draft, Maton has been a quick riser through the Padres’ minor league ranks. After starting the 2016 season in Low-A, Maton made stops at High-A and Triple-A, skipping Double-A San Antonio entirely, before finishing the season in the Arizona Fall League. Maton was good at every level last year, finishing with a 1.42 ERA in 12 and 2/3 innings in Low-A and a 1.91 ERA in 33 innings with the Storm, striking out over 35 percent of batters at both levels.
So far this season, Maton has had his struggles, but he has come on as of late, with 10 and 1/3 scoreless innings since May 15. In that time, Maton has struck out 16 batters. After this most recent string of success, Maton’s ERA is down on 2.84 on the season. Maton has struck out 31 batters in just 25 and 1/3 innings, walking only eight batters and giving up just eight earned runs.
Known for his deceptive fastball that has one of the highest spin rates of any pitch in the minor leagues, Maton will look to translate all his minor league success into the major leagues. It remains to be seen how Maton will fair, but he has all the tools to be a successful member of the Padres’ major league bullpen.