So why did the Pittsburgh Pirates land Miles Mikolas if the San Diego Padres had designated him for assignment? We think it’s because the Padres had seen enough, and although Mikolas pitched well for the team, Bud Black simply has more talent on the way. And we agree wholeheartedly with that statement.
If you think the Pirates already have enough relievers, think a bit more about late in the year last season. Think hard.
So Huntington went to the Super Wal-Mart of relief pitching and nabbed a solid arm before Black Friday hit. Despite pitching 30 plus innings for the Padres in 2012, Mikolas didn’t spend much time in the bigs with the Padres in 2013. The right-hander throws hard and serves up ground balls. It’s like ringing a bell, and the Pirates salivate over such talent. Especially when it only costs Alex Dickerson.
Remember that the Fathers lost Huston Street for some time in 2013 and still put together a nice year. Bud Black overworked his bullpen as you can see in the stats chart below and still the pen produced for the Padres skipper. They pitched the fourth most innings among all National League pens and still put up the NL’s sixth best WHIP at 1.26 and converted saves at a 75 percent rate, good for fourth in the NL.
With the impressive work of so many young and experienced arms in the Padres system, Mikolas was simply the odd man out. The Padres pitching staff recently got deeper with Josh Johnson who the Pirates finished runner-up on and the Padres didn’t even try really hard to get. So when you start to realize that the Padres have some nice young relievers to fall back on, it looks like a numbers game for San Diego. Check out this post by Jeff Sanders if you would like to get your reliever boner on…
Luke Gregerson has pitched more than 72 outings each year since coming over in 2009. The Padres have put together a nice bullpen with some options possibly coming from the rotation as well. Three relievers have really stood out including Gregerson, Nick Vincent and Huston Street.
Neal Huntington is assembling a bullpen once again, stay tuned for more moves after Thanksgiving.
Mikolas looks up to a few interesting pitchers.
The Padres bullpen numbers. Click to embigen.