The San Diego Padres have made another move to strengthen their already solid bullpen, as they have retained Craig Stammen.
As it stands, the San Diego Padres are expected to take a step forward towards contention in the coming season. They have made moves geared towards the idea of winning now, trading for Jurickson Profar, Zach Davies, and Tommy Pham, while signing four relievers, most notably Drew Pomeranz, in free agency.
On Saturday, the Padres took another step towards their goal of contending in 2020. The Padres have brought back reliever Craig Stammen, signing the righty to a two year deal with an option for 2022.
Stammen has emerged as a solid piece in the Padres’ bullpen over the past three years. The 2019 campaign was no exception, as he posted a solid 3.29 ERA and a 1.159 WHiP, striking out 73 batters with just 15 walks in 82 innings. However, he did allow 13 homers, which is a bit of a concern.
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Even with those issues with the home run ball, Stammen has been a valuable member of the Padres bullpen. He has thrown the third most innings of any reliever in the past three years, a respected veteran presence on a young pitching staff.
By bringing him back, the Padres are also continuing to limit their reliance upon a relatively untested rotation. There is no question as to the talent that Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet possess, but both are still relatively young. Garrett Richards did manage to make three appearances last year, but is coming off of Tommy Joh surgery.
Including Stammen in an already deep bullpen allows the Padres to tread lightly with their rotation, giving Richards a chance to prove himself to be healthy and for Paddack to show that he can be that top of the rotation arm. Should the Padres reach the postseason, that type of a bullpen can be a weapon.
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The San Diego Padres made an already formidable relief corps that much better by bringing back Craig Stammen. It may not be the most exciting move, but it is a solid one for the Padres.