San Diego, CA- The San Diego Padres have recalled RHP Billy Buckner to start Saturday nights game against the Chicago Cubs. Donn Roach was previously scheduled to start Saturday’s game, but will instead remain in the bullpen as the Padres long relief reliever.
Buckner is currently with the team, but won’t be officially added to the roster until Saturday.
Buckner, 30, signed a minor league deal with the Padres in April to add pitching depth to the Triple-A roster and was solid for El Paso. In five starts Buckner was (3-2) with a 2.89 ERA.
Buckner was drafted by the in the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 2004 MLB draft out of the University of South Carolina. He made his Major League debut with the Royals in 2007. Buckner spent four seasons in the big leagues from 2007-2011 in the starting rotation of the Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Buckner would spend 2011-2012 with the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox in the minor leagues, before returning to the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Angels. Buckner has a career 6.07 ERA in 23 starts and overall 155 2/3 innings of work.
The Padres after having used the same five starters for the first seven weeks of the season, have now replaced two starters in the past week with Andrew Cashner and Robbie Erlin both being placed on the disabled list.
After Buckner’s start on Saturday the Padres will need to decide whether or not they want to go with a five man rotation for the next few weeks.
Based on the schedule the Padres won’t absolutely need a fifth starter until June 14. By then the Padres would hope Andrew Cashner or Robbie Erlin would be ready to go to take the fifth spot. Currently the Padres could stick with either Stauffer or Roach in the rotation. Or they could promote their recently signed Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne.
Despaigne has been impressive in his two starts with Double-A San Antonio, but it may be too soon to promote him.