The Padres announced Monday that they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Ronald Bolanos from Double-A Amarillo. Southpaw Jose Castillo was moved to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Bolanos, who turned 23 just 10 days ago, was a fairly high-profile signing by the Padres, securing a bonus worth a bit more than $2MM when he left his native Cuba. Listed at 6’3″ and 220 pounds, Bolanos is generally regarded as one of the more promising arms in a loaded San Diego farm system. MLB.com tabs him 15th among Friars farmhands, and he’s listed at No. 17 on Baseball America’s midseason update and No. 39 over at Fangraphs.
Bolanos opened the season in Class-A Advanced and posted a 2.85 ERA through 10 starts before jumping to Double-A. His 4.23 ERA there isn’t as impressive, but Bolanos has upped his strikeout rate, improved his walk rate and maintained his strong 47.7 percent grounder rate since moving up to face more advanced competition. He’s still relatively young for the Double-A level and will face considerably more experienced pitching in making his big league debut.
The Padres have kept Bolanos in a starter’s role throughout the bulk of his minor league career, though scouting reports note that there’s a definite chance he ends up in the ’pen. He draws praise for a clean delivery and a fastball that sits 93 mph while occasionally touching 96-97mph. His slider, curveball and changeup are less polished offerings, and the development of those offerings will likely determine whether his future is in the San Diego rotation or bullpen. For now, he’ll get his first experience at the MLB level in hopes of convincing the club that he can be a part of the staff early in the 2020 campaign.