The Padres announced they’re activating catcher Austin Nola from the injured list before this evening’s game against the Diamondbacks. Fellow backstop Luis Campusano has been optioned to the alternate training site in a corresponding move. Víctor Caratini will get the start in tonight’s contest.
Nola will be making his regular season debut when he first gets on the field. He’s been out since fracturing his left middle finger during a Spring Training game on March 13. His return will be a welcome development for the Friars, who have started 13-12 in his absence. Acquired from the Mariners before last summer’s trade deadline, Nola hit .222/.324/.381 in 74 plate appearances down the stretch. That level of offense is more adequate than stellar, but the former Marlins farmhand put up a much stronger .280/.351/.476 mark over 377 plate appearances while playing quality defense for Seattle over the prior season-plus.
In Nola’s absence, the Padres have leaned on Caratini and Campusano behind the plate, to disappointing results. The former has posted a .236/.317/.327 slash over 63 plate appearances, while the latter has only mustered an .088/.184/.088 mark in 38 trips to the dish. Campusano is a supremely talented prospect, but he certainly looks as if he could use more developmental time in the minor leagues. That’s hardly surprising, as the 22-year-old had topped out at High-A in 2019 before last year’s minors cancellation.