Odrisamer Despaigne will be recalled to start for the San Diego Padres on Monday, marking what will be his MLB Debut after signing with the team in May following his defection from Cuba. The right-hander will step in and take Andrew Cashner’s scheduled turn in the rotation, as he’s been pushed back due to lingering concerns about his injured forearm.
MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes first reported the news that Despaigne would be called up by the Padres, adding that the team will need to make another move in order to open a spot on their 40-man roster.
The 27 year old Despaigne spent eight seasons pitching in Cuba’s top league, finishing with a career 3.65 ERA, before leaving the country to pursue a career in Major League Baseball. He was loosely linked to the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks at various points in the offseason, before ultimately signing a minor league deal with the Padres in early May. The club started him at Double-A, but he received a promotion to Triple-A after making just two starts. All told he’s made seven starts in the minor leagues, posting a 6.03 ERA and 1.851 WHIP in 31.1 IP but he has a strong 11.8 K/9.
Multiple scouting reports suggest that he can throw four pitches and uses different arm slots, potentially helping his ability to deceive opposing hitters.
Cashner has generally pitched well on the season, but has already experienced one stint on the disabled list and the team is hoping to avoid another. Skipping his start on Monday is likely more of a precautionary move than anything else, but it still prompts questions about his health for the remainder of the season. In 12 starts on the year he’s 2-6 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.192 WHIP in 76.1 IP. There has been limited speculation in recent days that the Padres could consider dealing Cashner before the trading deadline, as he’d likely bring a bigger return than any other player on the roster, but a move seems unlikely between his uncertain health status and the team’s move Sunday to let GM Josh Byrnes go. Dealing away the staff ace would be hard for the club’s interim front office to justify.