The Padres made a bit of an unexpected roster move today, optioning third baseman Ryan Schimpf to Triple-A El Paso. In a corresponding move, they've brought up right-handed pitcher Jose Valdez to join the bullpen.
Up to this point, Schimpf had played in 53 games on the season, his second year in the big leagues. But while he leads the team with 14 home runs through these first couple of months, he's batting just .158 through those 53 appearances. He's been especially unproductive in the past four weeks, collecting only eight hits (although five of those were home runs)) and six walks while striking out 31 times in his last 70 plate appearances.
While he tries to work on his hitting in Triple-A, the Padres bullpen will benefit from the added arm of Valdez. With the team's starting pitching, as a whole, struggling greatly this season (and especially in recent weeks), the relief corps has taken a beating. In the last series alone, a three-game set in Arizona, they combined for 15 innings of relief work. The rookie Valdez will be a welcome addition to the overworked bullpen, who will be losing another member, at least temporarily, as Miguel Diaz moves to the rotation for at least one start.
Valdez was claimed off waivers from the Angels less than a month ago. He's thrown ten innings for the Chihuahuas in Triple-A, allowing six runs on 15 hits.