Happy twenty-seventh birthday to Padres reliever Nick Vincent. And by Padres, I mean San Diego Padres, although if you're reading this at a later date he might be a Tucson Padre. If he is, it'll be no fault of his own because he has killed it at the big league level; shuttling between Tucson and San Diego is just a peril of being young, flush with options, and part of the "18-man pitching staff".
Selected by the Padres in the eighteenth round of the 2008 draft, Vincent pitched for entry-level Eugene that year, starting half of his 16 games in addition to making an emergency fill-in start for AAA Portland. Despite struggling, he was promoted to Lake Elsinore the following season and starting games was made a thing of the past. He spent two years with the Storm, posting a 3.08 ERA in 2009, and trimming it down to 1.87 on the mothersomething mound in 2010. The 2011 season brought another change of scenery; he went 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 79.1 innings spread over 66 appearances. He returned the next season, did even better, and got bumped up to AAA Tucson after nine games. It wasn't the last promotion Vincent would get in 2012; by the end of June he was in the major leagues.
Vincent made his big league debut June 26, 2012, on the road against the Astros. He pitched two hitless innings and struck out a pair of batters. His next appearance two days later brought him his first win, one of two he'd accrue to go along with his 1.71 ERA in 26.1 innings over 26 games. He started out back with Tucson to start this season but was back in San Diego on May 30. Vincent went his first 11 games of 2013- a span of 12 innings- without allowing a run; he picked up two wins in that time. The Nationals finally got to him last Saturday, tagging him for both his first run allowed of the year and his first career loss. Over 41 innings in the majors Vincent has registered 41 strikeouts, in line with his minor league ratio of 339 in 330.1.
Here's to hoping that the fellas can gift wrap a win for him tonight. It will be his first chance at a big league birthday win; this date fell on the All-Star break last season. One can only hope that Nick gets the night off because former Tucson teammate Sean O`Sullivan puts in nine innings of stellar work.