The Padres have had an active roster, and today’s news keeps the trend rolling. Most relevant to tonight’s game, the team has purchased the contract of lefty reliever Kyle McGrath:
Kyle McGrath is here, and it appears the Padres are heading back to an 8-man bullpen.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 27, 2017
A reliever throughout his career, McGrath got some starts in last year’s Arizona Fall League, but he went back to the relief role with the San Antonio Missions this year. He owns one of the more unorthodox deliveries you’ll see, and he brings the ball right over the top with a fastball in the mid-90’s, a decent changeup, and a slider that doesn’t grade well, but he uses deception and location very well. In 20 games with San Antonio this year, he has a 2.66 ERA, which is nice, but even more impressive are his 10.27 K/9 and his 1.52 BB/9. He’s an extreme flyball pitcher, but the ball has left the park on 6.3% of the flyballs he’s induced this year.
For you tin-foil hat crystal-ball types, it may be worth noting that lefty Buddy Baumann came up right around the time that Ryan Buchter left for Kansas City. McGrath is also a lefty reliever and will join Baumann, Jose Torres, and Brad Hand as the southpaws in the bullpen... for now.
In other news, Yangervis Solarte has joined the El Paso Chihuahuas for a rehab assignment. AJ Cassavell announced an interesting tidbit:
The Padres may give Yangervis Solarte a look at shortstop during his rehab assignment in El Paso.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) July 27, 2017
With Cory Spangenberg hitting .340/.404/.596 over the last two weeks and Carlos Asuaje hitting .340/.377/.480 over the same period, the team may want to keep their bats in the lineup once Solarte is healthy. Whether Solarte can play a competent shortstop remains to be seen, but with the current rostered options of Allen Cordoba and Dusty Coleman, perhaps it’s worth a try.
Austin Hedges has been on the disabled list since July 18th with concussion-related symptoms. There is hope on the horizon, as he heads off to test the ol’ noggin:
Austin Hedges will catch 5-7 innings in an AZL game tomorrow. If that goes well, he'll be activated Sunday.— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) July 27, 2017
In related news, Travis Jankowski has been with the El Paso Chihuahuas on a rehab assignment as well. He’s 4-for-19 through four games with the Chihuahuas after five games with the Arizona Rookie League squads.
With three position players on the mend and likely to return soon, expect to see some shuffling of the rosters in the next week or so. The July 31st non-waiver deadline looms as well, which may make things even more fluid. It’s an interesting time of the baseball season, and the Padres front office is getting plenty of juggling practice.