The Padres announced a series of roster moves ahead of this afternoon’s game against the Brewers, optioning right-hander Domingo Tapia and utiltyman Brandon Dixon to Triple-A while recalling catcher Brett Sullivan and right-hander Reiss Knehr. The moves come on the heels of a recent injury to catcher Luis Campusano, who jammed his thumb catching a bullpen session. According to MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, x-rays on Campusano’s thumb came back negative, but he will still be sidelined due to considerable swelling. It appears that, at least for now, Campusano will avoid a stint on the injured list, with the Padres instead opting for a three catcher roster while the 24 year-old is sidelined.
Tapia, 31, made his debut in 2020 with Boston and posted strong numbers from 2020-2021, sporting a 2.61 ERA and 3.62 FIP across 38 innings split between the Red Sox, Mariners, and Royals. He struggled badly in 17 innings with Oakland last year, however, posting a 8.47 ERA and 5.11 FIP. While those numbers are somewhat inflated by his .387 BABIP and unfortunate 62.2% strand rate, Tapia’s struggles were somewhat deserved, as well, as he actually walked more batters (14) than he struck out (12) with the A’s. Control problems have been an issue for Tapia even outside of Oakland, however, has he sports a career 13.1% walk rate and has never posted a walk rate lower than 10% in a season.
With Tapia headed to Triple-A, Knehr is set to join the Padres bullpen for the first time this season. The 26 year-old righty has pitched for the Padres in the big leagues in each of the past two seasons, with a 4.64 ERA in 42 2/3 innings over that time. Knehr struggles with control as well, with walk rates consistently over 10% in both the major leagues and Triple-A. Still, he’ll provide a fresh arm for the Padres bullpen, which has recently been taxed thanks to short starts from the club’s six-man rotation.
Dixon, meanwhile, heads to Triple-A to make room for a third catcher on the roster. The 31-year old struggled in his limited playing time with the club this season, recording just one hit and no walks while striking out eight times in his ten plate appearances with the club. Still, he figures to provide depth in the minors for the Padres, particularly given his versatility. Dixon has played all three outfield spots as well as first, second, and third base in the majors throughout his career.
Sullivan, 29, has yet to make his major league debut to this point in his career. A 17th round draft pick by the Rays in the 2015 draft, Sullivan signed with the Brewers on a major league deal during the 2021-22 offseason but was traded to the Padres in the deal that sent Victor Caratini to Milwaukee before appearing in a game for the organization. Sullivan has served as catching depth in the upper minors for the Padres ever since, and now figures to get his shot in the big leagues while Campusano is on the mend. A career .273/.321/.430 hitter in the minor leagues, Sullivan has experience in the outfield corners and at third base in addition to behind the plate.
It’s been interesting to watch Nola get the majority of reps when Campusano is obviously the favorite as the future at the position.
It’s probably good for Luis behind the plate to get reps with major league pitchers; but on the flip side, his bat would obviously benefit more from daily at bats.
Knehr has potential in my eyes.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
I’ll see that potential & raise you a Kleenex to wipe your eyes…
Ah yes the kitchen counter, Curly.
Tapia’s problem is the same as was/is/continues to be that of Joe Kelly. Disconnect between the head and right arm, as in? They both have tremendous, as in 98+mph fb’s, and 1 (more in Kelly’s situation) plus secondary pitches, but little clue as to when to use any of their pitches.
Catcher can only request any pitch, pitcher must have throw it with conviction at any given time when they are continually wrong and never learn from previous mistakes, or maybe incapable of grasping them.
The Padres. LOL!