On Wednesday, Padres.com Beat Writer Corey Brock reported that San Diego optioned relief pitcher Thad Weber to Triple-A Tucson. While that specific move is not necessarily “headline-grabbing,” the minor league pitcher who was called up in Weber’s place is: Robbie Erlin.
After a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League, Erlin continued to pitch well with the Tucson Padres to start the 2013 season. Overall, Robbie logged a 2-0 record (over 3 starts and 13.1 innings), a 4.73 ERA, and 10 strikeouts. Now healthy and pitching strong, I find it fantastic to see that the youngster is now getting his first crack at sticking and staying on the big league roster.
Although Erlin was called up on Wednesday, he did not pitch in San Diego’s series finale against Milwaukee that night. Nevertheless, one important weekend storyline outside of Andrew Cashner receiving another start will be the question of when the 22 year old finally makes his major league debut.
I should also mention that we really did not get to see much of what Joe Wieland, the other prospect acquired for Mike Adams from Texas back in 2011, could do during his short big league stint last year. So with that in mind, I am definitely intrigued to see how Erlin fares early on in his big league career.
Although Erlin projects to be a starter, simply getting his feet wet out of the bullpen and gaining experience should be very beneficial for both him and the Padres early in his career. This in turn will allow him some chances to better himself against top competition in shorter relief work. Plus, with Tyson Ross already sidelined, the team might need Erlin to help in the rotation if another player goes down and Bud Black elects to keep Anthony Bass in the bullpen.
So keep a close eye out this weekend, Friars fans. Erlin could be a big part of this team’s starting rotation down the road, and he could see his first taste of major league action against the defending World Champions.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference