Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AA vs AAA Pitcher Call-ups

Nice win for the Padres last night.  Latos battled through 6 tough innings.  The offense sputtered again but broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning, and the bullpen shut down Boston late.

Couple of things to discuss.  During last night's Podcast I mentioned that it seems the Padres have dipped into AA more often than AAA for pitching help this year.  Looking at their transactions for this season that's not quite accurate.

  • AAA pitching callups:  Wade LeBlanc (4/24, 6/14), Evan Scribner (4/25, 6/9).
  • AA pitching callups:  Anthony Bass (6/13), Joshua Spence (6/21).
Wade LeBlanc being called up twice this season is not surprising; he spent significant time with the big club in 2010.  Scribner's a big righty but has been used exclusively in games the Padres trailed by at least 3 runs.  That's it for AAA pitching promotions.  Until recently the Padres pitching corps had been pretty healthy save Joe Thatcher.  With Harang and Gregerson on the mend, and Moseley ailing but pitching through it, I find it interesting that San Diego's front office is willing to dip into their lower level minor league team for help.

I just don't remember that happening a lot before.  It might be I haven't paid as close attention to where the callups come from as I am now.  Or it might be the PCL is such a hitters league this season it's hurting Jeremy Hefner and Will Inman's (to name two) chances of making a big league start.  Bass won his ML debut so there won't be any second-guessing here.  We'll see what Spence brings to the table in upcoming days.

We also talked last night about Wade LeBlanc's chances of making another start.  He was sent down after his Monday start, so that talk is kind of moot; who gets the start instead?  Harang won't come off the DL until 28 June at the earliest, meaning he'll miss his next start (which would be Saturday).  If I was a betting man I'd bet Cory Luebke will get the ball this Saturday.  Luebke has been the lone left-hander in the Padres bullpen this season, however the call-up of Joshua Spence (who's left-handed) had to be designed with covering Luebke's bullpen slot in mind.

I really like Luebke getting a start. He dominated the Red Sox lineup for 3 innings on Monday, and I believe Black would have left him out there longer if the seventh inning had been the fourth inning; he might have been able to pitch out of it.  At least he could have done no worse than Frieri did.  Atlanta will be a challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing him battle.

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