Last year, I wrote a post detailing how the San Diego Padres’ bullpen was built.
Of the seven pitchers in their pen, six were acquired via trade and one was drafted.
My point of the piece was that the Padres do a fantastic job of acquiring underappreciated, low-cost assets and turning them into outstanding relievers. Heath Bell, who was misused by the New York Mets, may be the best example of this.
On Sunday, the Padres were at it again.
On this occasion, San Diego claimed RHP Pat Neshek off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, another low-cost asset that can help their bullpen.
Neshek, who is now 30, was outstanding for the Twins in 2006 and 2007.
In those two seasons, he compiled a 2.68 and 0.93 WHIP and averaged 10.6 K/9 in 107.1 IP.
Then, in 2008, Neshek was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow.
The injury eventually resulted in the ever-so-trendy Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in November of that year and missed the entire 2009 season as a result.
The former Butler Bulldog came back to the Twins in 2010, but was a little erratic to say the least.
He only pitched in nine innings, but walked eight batters in those nine innings.
That being said, Neshek did strike out one batter per inning last year, which shows he still has the ability to make batters swing and miss.
Now that he's two years fully removed from Tommy John surgery, he's heading into a perfect situation in San Diego.
Even though Neshek is a fly-ball pitcher (33.3 percent for his career), fly balls go to die in San Diego. Being a fly-ball pitcher may actually help him in San Diego.
What's more, I feel like even I could be signed by the Padres, pitch out of their bullpen in 2011 and somehow have an ERA under two. It must be something in the water out there.
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