Kirby Yates was summoned to the mound to open the eighth inning on Saturday night against the Astros. He warmed up, threw exactly one pitch, and then Andy Green came out of the dugout with a trainer to remove him from the game. Nothing was clearly evident at the time, but something must be amiss, because:
The Padres put Kirby Yates on the 10-day DL due to right ankle tendonitis. Buddy Baumann is up from El Paso.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) April 9, 2018
During the game coverage they played back the video from his warmup. After making his final pitch, he put his hands on his knees in apparent discomfort. The reports after the game indicated that something was up with his ankle, which matches the report from his DL assignment. Scoreless through four innings, Yates is coming off a season where he was lowkey the best reliever in the Padres bullpen. (Kids use “lowkey” like that, right? I’m trying to connect with a younger audience even though I still listen to AM radio on occasion).
Taking Yates’ spot on the roster is Buddy Baumann. The lefty had a solid year in 2017 and was lined up for another run with a good spring before a couple of sidearmers showed up and made things awkward. Baumann is now back with the big league squad, at least for the time being, and I for one am looking forward to his excellent stirrups game.
The Padres bullpen is a mix of unheralded oddballs like Adam Cimber, Kazuhisa Makita, and Kyle McGrath (well, when he’s back from El Paso), but Yates’ power arsenal has made him a lethal setup man. I suppose an ankle injury should be less impactful than a shoulder or an elbow, but we’re still going to miss Kirby in those close eighth inning situations until he’s back in the saddle.