Buchter threw a perfect inning against the Giants on Sunday en route to his 15th hold of the season. The lefty has now turned in seven straight scoreless appearances, with just two hits allowed and seven strikeouts over that span, since his five-run blowup on June 29 (the day before the team traded Fernando Rodney). Brandon Maurer nailed down the win Sunday and is 3-for-3 in save chances since taking over in the ninth inning. Buchter still has appeal as a closer-in-waiting but will probably need Maurer to slip up or get traded.
Buchter will be next in line for save chances behind Brandon Maurer in San Diego, MLB.com reports. Manager Andy Green named Buchter the Padres' primary setup man in early June following three poor outings from Maurer (nine earned runs in 1.1 innings), seemingly putting him in line for save chances behind Fernando Rodney. However, in an example of disastrous timing, Buchter was blown up for five runs in an appearance the day before Rodney was traded to Miami. Maurer has settled down since the rough stretch and will get the first look in the closer role, but the lefty Buchter should keep the seat warm and still makes for a viable hold in many leagues.
Padres manager Andy Green said Buchter is now the primary setup guy to closer Fernando Rodney, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. With another scoreless frame Friday night against the Rockies, Buchter is carrying a 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with a 35:12 K:BB over 25 innings this season. It's reasonable to think that he is currently the frontrunner to take over the ninth-inning if Rodney suffers an injury or if he's traded at some point in the coming months.
Buchter pitched a perfect ninth with a strikeout for his first career save Thursday against the Brewers. Regular closer Fernando Rodney pitched in both ends of Wednesday's doubleheader, and even though Buchter appeared in one of those games as well, he was still the best-rested arm in that bullpen. He's also been hugely effective this year, having allowed just one run with a 0.96 WHIP and 23:8 K:BB in 16.2 innings. It's not unrealistic to expect him to rise into the primary setup role, as he's outpitched everyone in the Padres' pen this year.
Buchter did not give up a run in two-thirds of an inning with a strikeout in Monday's loss to the Dodgers. Buchter will serve as a lefty middle reliever for the Padres. Buchter spent the 2015 season in the Dodgers and Cubs organizations, working a 1.78 ERA with a 10.7 K/9 rate over 43 total appearances with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Triple-A Iowa.