The Padres announced that they have designated veteran catcher Wil Nieves for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for top prospect Austin Hedges, whose previously reported promotion is now official.
Nieves, 37, won the Padres’ backup catching job out of Spring Training but rarely got into games this year, with Derek Norris shouldering an abnormally large workload behind the dish. Nieves appeared in just six games, only four of them starts, and totaled 14 plate appearances with a .077/.143/.308 batting line. His lone hit in his second go-around with the Padres was a big one, however, as it came in the form of an April 12 grand slam that fueled a 6-4 win over the division-rival Giants.
Nieves spent the 2014 season serving as the backup to Carlos Ruiz in Philadelphia, accumulating 128 plate appearances over the course of 36 games. He’s appeared in the Major Leagues in each season dating back to 2005, and the well-seasoned backstop is a career .241/.280/.317 hitter in 427 big league games.
Hedges behind plate and Norris at 1B today vs Mad Bum?
I hope not. I would hate to see Hedges flail away at the plate against Bumgarner. I would prefer he watch from the bench tonight and strt tomorrow, of course that is just my opinion.
He might get some late-inning action tonight if at all. He has to travel to SF and join the team, so he won’t be ready well before game time. Not to mention preparing strategies against hitters, learning signs, etc. I’m guessing he’ll get mop-up action and the occasional start for the next week, then start the games in Seattle while Norris DH’s.
Perhaps he heads to the Red Sox
Oh God…. I hope not.
I’m a Yankees fan, and, so of course, I have no warmth for your people. But the observation wasn’t made entirely for fun. You don’t want Salty back at his salary, you have two young catchers, who, if the hype is right, are Cochrane and I-Rod in the making, and you have some injuries. A month of Nieves isn’t the end of the world.
I know. I just hope they use Swihart back there for the time being to get his feet wet. If he struggles, then they should look externally. I’m sure they could always find a guy of Nieves’ caliber if they need one.