The San Diego Padres announced on Wednesday they had signed right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez to a minor-league contract with the intent to promote him to the big-league roster in time for him to make a start this weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Padres also placed left-hander Blake Snell on the injured list, just days after he departed his Sunday start because of a strained groin.
Velasquez, 29, was recently released by the Philadelphia Phillies. In 21 appearances this year with the Phillies (17 of them starts), he accumulated a 5.95 ERA (68 ERA+) and a 1.89 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Velasquez for his career has been a below-average starter, amassing an 86 ERA+ and a 2.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 638 big-league frames.
Velasquez is only the latest released veteran pitcher the Padres have scooped up in recent weeks. San Diego signed righty Jake Arrieta in mid-August following his release from the Chicago Cubs and, more recently, inked left-hander Ross Detwiler following his break with the Miami Marlins.
Snell, 28, posted a 4.20 ERA (92 ERA+) and a 2.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first 27 starts with the Padres after coming over in an offseason trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Those numbers don't reflect how well Snell had pitched as of late. Dating back to August 1, he had appeared eight times and accumulated a 1.83 ERA and a 4.64 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 44 innings.
The Padres entered Wednesday with a 74-70 record on the season, putting them 20 ½ games back in the National League West. The Padres nonetheless still have a chance to make the postseason, as they came into the day a game back of the Cardinals. SportsLine's forecasts had the Padres with a 7 percent shot at reaching the playoffs.