The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Blake Treinen on the Injured List earlier today so it looked like the San Diego Padres were going to have an edge in terms of the talent at the back end of each team’s bullpens this weekend. The Padres back end now doesn’t look as great, as Pierce Johnson has been placed on the 10-day IL with elbow tendinitis. Ray Kerr, who was in Triple-A El Paso, has a locker at Petco Park and will replace Johnson for now on the roster.
I gave my live reaction to this news on the pregame show (29:54).
The Padres bullpen still looks pretty solid heading into the series though. Taylor Rogers has appeared in five games and gotten the save in each of those games. Steven Wilson has pleasantly emerged as one of Bob Melvin’s most trustworthy relievers, pitching to a 1.42 ERA in his first six games in the big leagues. Even Robert Suarez and Luis Garcia are pitching well as of late.
With this said, Johnson hadn’t allowed a run in five of his first six appearances this season. His latest outing came on Wednesday when he pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two batters.
Kerr’s basic numbers like his ERA (7.71) don’t look great so far in the minor leagues but he allowed all of his runs in one appearance on April 12. Other than that, he hasn’t allowed a run this month.
His latest relief outing was on Tuesday so he should be well rested. The big question about him is his command. He’s a high velocity reliever who sometimes has a hard time not walking batters, as he’s thrown four balls to at least one batter in all but one minor league appearance this season.