I first visited the subject of Padres one-game wonders a little over four years ago, back when there were only six members in the club. I last revisited the topic after the 2014 season when two more joined the ranks. Since then, six players have appeared in just one game with the Padres, including four in 2017. All six are profiled below, but first acquaint yourself with the first eight if you haven’t yet:
9. Michael Kirkman - April 27, 2016
Kirkman pitched in part of five seasons with the Rangers, from 2010 through 2014, but spent all of 2015 in AAA with the Brewers organization, then started 2016 in AAA after switching organizations. He appeared in five games as a member of the El Paso Chihuahuas before he got the call back to the bigs. His time came in the bottom of the third inning of a game that was already 4-4, in relief of Andrew Cashner, who had left him three baserunners in his welcome basket. Opposing pitcher Jeff Samardzija hit Kirkman’s first pitch for a single, bringing in two runs. Kirkman got the next batter, leadoff man Denard Span, to ground to Alexei Ramirez to end the inning.
Kirkman stayed in for the fourth inning and set fire to his chances of getting in another game with the team. Joe Panik and Matt Duffy singled and were tripled home by Brandon Belt before Kirkman could get his first out of the inning on a grounder to first by Brandon Crawford. Hunter Pence and Trevor Brown added RBI singles between then and when Samardzija lined to Jemile Weeks for the third out. As you might have imagined, Kirkman was promptly designated for assignment; as you might not have imagined, the Brewers snagged him up. He got into just one game for them too, and spent the rest of the year in AAA Colorado Springs; he didn’t play in 2017 after the Braves organization released him in March.
10. Tayron Guerrero - May 17, 2016
Guerrero was called up from El Paso the day after the Padres used approximately 68 relievers in a 12-inning win over Milwaukee, but had a couple days to get acclimated with his new surroundings before getting his sole major league action to date. The Padres were down 4-0 at home against the Giants, and Andy Green called on Guerrero to start the eighth inning, with San Francisco’s 4-5-6- hitters due up. Four and five were no problem as he retired Buster Posey and Brandon Belt, but Hunter Pence singled and scored on a double by Brandon Crawford, who ended the inning by getting cut down trying to take third.
Guerrero’s second inning got off to a sketchy start when he walked the leadoff batter, opposing pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who stayed put as Angel Pagan flew out to Melvin Upton in left field. Bumgarner advanced to second on a single by Denard Span, then third when Joe Panik grounded into a Wallace-to-Rosales forceout at second. Both Bumgarner and Panik were stranded when Matt Duffy flew out to Matt Kemp for the third out. Kemp then led off the bottom of the ninth with a homer, denying Bumgarner a shutout, a moral win in an actual 5-1 loss.
After the game Guerrero was optioned back to El Paso, and pitched there and AA San Antonio until he was traded to Miami in the deal that sent Andrew Cashner out of town. Since then he’s bounced between AA and AAA in their organization.
11. Jake Esch - April 12, 2017
The first of four this year, Esch was promoted when starter Luis Perdomo went on the disabled list and got into the game that night. With the Padres up 6-0, Green brought him in for the ninth inning. He walked both batters he faced, Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story, managing to throw only one strike before making way for Brandon Maurer, who preserved the shutout. Esch, whose other major league experience is three games with Miami in 2016, was sent back to El Paso two days later and spent the rest of the season at various levels in the Padres’ system; he is now a free agent.
12. Dillon Overton - July 1, 2017
Overton made one start for El Paso between being claimed off of waivers from the Mariners and getting called up to make a spot start for the Friars; he headed back there the day after his Padres debut. In his one day in San Diego, Overton lasted one out shy of five innings, allowing four earned runs on a dozen baserunners. He was in trouble early, but got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first only a run down. He looked settled in when he sat the Dodgers down 1-2-3 in both the second and third innings, but gave up three hits and a run in the fourth and then back-to-back solo shots by Corey Seager and Justin Turner to lead off the fifth. The Dodgers eventually won 8-0, with Overton responsible for half of those runs.
13. Jose Ruiz - July 24, 2017
With the Padres shorthanded due to the trade that sent Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, and Ryan Buchter to Kansas City, they promoted Ruiz all the way from nearby High-A Lake Elsinore. In addition to Maurer and Buchter being gone, the bullpen had been stretched thin by a pair of extra-inning contests, so it was little surprise when Ruiz was the first reliever called after Clayton Richard soaked up eight innings. Not even two innings after Hunter Renfroe hit a ball over the Western Metal Supply Building, Ruiz came in as part of a double switch to pitch the top of the ninth. He allowed just a walk to Asdrubal Cabrera in the course of retiring Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jay Bruce. Ruiz was sent back to Lake Elsinore the next day to make room for that day’s starting pitcher. Only in his second season of a conversion from catcher, he spent the rest of the year there, but won’t be back; he was recently claimed by the White Sox off of waivers.
14. Kyle Lloyd - July 25, 2017
...and the next day’s starting pitcher was Kyle Lloyd, who was promoted from El Paso to make Trevor Cahill’s scheduled start, as Cahill was one of the three newest Kansas City Royals. Lloyd, who threw a no-hitter with AA San Antonio back in May, gave up four earned runs in four innings and change, getting the hook after failing to retire the first two batters of the fifth inning. Yoenis Cespedes got to him with a first-inning two-out solo homer, and he made it through the second and third by only allowing a walk in each frame. Working with a 3-1 lead thanks to second-inning homers from Hunter Renfroe and Allen Cordoba, Lloyd let the Mets a little closer in the fourth; a run scored on singles by Jay Bruce, T.J. Rivera, and Travis d’Arnaud. He left after giving up back-to-back doubles to Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera to lead off the fifth and tie the game. Cabrera, who Lloyd was responsible for, scored when Cespedes promptly doubled off of Kirby Yates, Lloyd’s replacement. That gave the Mets a 4-3 lead, but the Padres eventually tied the game before losing it, allowing Lloyd to escape with a no-decision.
Lloyd and Overton are still with the organization, so it’s entirely possible for them to play themselves off this list next year or later. Of course, it’s not impossible for the guys who have moved on to do the same; it’s not like we haven’t seen the Padres bring old pitchers back again.