In case you didn’t know, lefty reliever Joe Thatcher has thrown two games with Triple-A Portland on a rehab assignment as the Padres’ top lefty prepares to return to San Diego.
The slider specialist has allowed one run in two innings. He hasn’t walked or struck out anybody.
It’ll be important to watch Thatcher’s velocity, as he lost 1-2 mph on his pitches from 2008 to 2009.
He used to throw in the upper 80′s with his fastball, mid-to-upper-80′s with his cutter, and upper 70′s with his slider. He lost 1.2 mph on his fastball, 2.3 on his slider, and .7 on the cutter last year.
That said, Thatcher was much more effective at the slower velocity. I have no idea why, but it will be interesting to see where his velocity is after an offseason and his recent injury.
Cesar Ramos is the likely candidate to return to the minor leagues when Thatcher returns. Given that he’s already made two rehab appearances, I’d expect him up soon.