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Vicente Padilla On Pirates Radar


The Pittsburgh Pirates are still looking for pitching help.  John from Pirates Prospects  skillfully discovered this article that states Rene Gayo will be taking a look at former Dodger pitcher Vincente Padilla who is pitching in his beloved home country of Nicaragua.  The author states that Gayo would have been checking out the right hander, but a meeting in Florida delayed the visit.  We’re guessing the Pirates brass is having a pow-wow before the mini-camp that Neil Walker told us about on the podcast gets rolling this week.

The article also states Padilla has been pitching 94 miles per hour and is throwing his eupheus pitch again—yeh, the one that goes just 50- 52 miles per hour.   Padilla had a miserable 2011 season limiting him to nine games.  He suffered an injury to his forearm and then had to undergo neck surgery.

"The entire process is going well. There is no inconvenience in the forearm or neck. I hope that everything will continue this way, to see if concrete about my return to the majors. But the mere fact of being throwing, has me happy,” said Padilla"

Padilla has made two starts in Nicaragua.  He has pitched 13 innings and struckout 11 batters.  Many of us saw this hilarious headline and story on Padilla the other day on Hardball Talk where the right hander was rumored to be heading to the Miami Marlins.

"“There was Vicente Padilla, erect, proud, shining, and solid. Oh, how exquisite! Without a doubt, all of us who had the opportunity to see the hurler from Chinandega on the hill at Estadio Roque Tadeo Zevala in Granada enjoyed this superb outing, in which his fastball reached up to 95 mph.And although he left without earning a decision in los Tigres’ 2-1 victory over los Orientales, due to a home run to Roland Garth with Adolfo Matamoros on base in the ninth inning, those seven innings from Padilla were captivating—a true wonder.Evidence of his ferocity remained imprinted in the hand of catcher Luani Sánchez, who skillfully handled the repertoire of the Nicaraguan who, according to sources, could be wearing a Miami Marlins uniform in next year’s big league season.Is it true that you’re ending up with the Marlins?“Maybe,” said the Nicaraguan with a smile. “I feel very good, you saw how I pitched, and you can get an idea of the shape I’m in,” offered Padilla, who continues showing signs of a great change in the way he deals with the press. He was a total gentleman"

It’s a longshot, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the Bucs to have Gayo take a look at a pitcher who could eventually help the Pirates on an inexpensive minor league deal.

If only he didn’t have the other baggage like people believing he is a complete ass as a teammate, a claim that Bobby Abreu denies, or his inability to get out of the way of bullets when he is hunting…but what the hell, I mean we could care less that some feel he was the most hated pitcher in baseball back in 2009.  What we do like about him is mentality.  His success as a big leaguer.  He also has an incredible story of overcoming not just odds, but a country–and his family– savaged by war.

"“From the time I came from Nicaragua to now, I have always thrown inside,” Padilla said. “I know a lot of pitchers are afraid to throw inside because they are afraid of hitting a batter but I’m not afraid. It’s part of the game. You have to do what you have to do. If you don’t, the hitters will do what they can against you. I cannot help it if they do not get out of the way.”"

When have you ever heard a Buccos pitcher say some shit like that?

To wrap this up, it really appears like the Pirates either don’t like any of the pitchers on the market, or simply don’t have the cash in the budget to sign a “non-bounceback” arm for the rotation.   So we guess that leaves us with this–why not take a chance on Padilla if he is healthy and really does have this 94-95 mph life on his fastball?  One strong reason might stir your memory…Padilla reminds us of Bartolo Colon last year, and you might remember we really wished the Pirates would have signed him.

Rowand gets nailed in the dome by a pitch from…