The Padres announced they’ve designated reliever Taylor Williams for assignment. The move opens a spot on the active roster for Jake Arrieta, who has been activated from the 10-day injured list to start tonight’s game against the Astros.
The Padres didn’t need to create a vacancy on the 40-man roster but Williams is out of minor league option years, meaning he had to either stick on the big league team or be exposed to waivers. San Diego’s 40-man total now sits at 39.
Williams himself just returned from the injured list Wednesday, when active rosters expanded from 26 to 28 players. Knee inflammation had kept the right-hander out since mid-April, and he didn’t get into a game upon being reinstated this month. Williams’ big league action this season consists of 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball over the first few weeks. That comes after he threw just one inning for the Friars in 2020 after being acquired from the Mariners last August for pitching prospect Matt Brash.
In addition to his time with Seattle and San Diego, Williams spent a few seasons with the Brewers. Over parts of five big league campaigns, the 30-year-old owns a 5.17 ERA with strikeout (24.3%) and walk (10.5%) rates not far off the league average for relievers. The Padres will now place Williams on waivers, where a bullpen-needy club could consider adding him for the final few weeks of the regular season.
Arrieta returns two weeks after suffering a left hamstring strain during his first start as a Padre. Between the Cubs and San Diego, the former Cy Young award winner has struggled to a 7.13 ERA across 89 2/3 innings.