San Diego Padres starting pitcher Burch Smith was called up to replace Clayton Richard in the starting rotation. Richard was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an intestinal virus. Smith dominated for Double-A San Antonio, but unfortunately, that success did not transition over to the big leagues.
The 23-year-old posted a 1-2 record with a 1.15 earned run average and 37 strikeouts in 32 innings. Since he joined the Padres at the big league level, he is 0-1 with a whopping 18.41 ERA, 11 strikeouts and four surrendered home runs in 7 1/3 innings. It is not San Diego’s fault for believing he could handle the majors considering how well he pitched in the minors.
For the second time this season, Smith lasted only one inning. He allowed four earned runs on five hits while striking out only one batter before he was taken out of the game in the second inning. The fact that he was forced out of the contest early again does not bode well for his chance to improve on his performance. In fact, manager Bud Black announced after the game that the Padres would option Smith to Triple-A Tucson.
“Right now, I think it’s time for him to go back and reassess what happened here, realize what he did in Double-A and continue to grow as a pitcher,” Black said, according to Padres.com. “He took away from here what it means when you don’t execute a pitch at the Major League level.”
The fact that the right-hander faced three talented offensive teams in his three starts certainly does not help with his confidence. With that being said, he received some valuable experience in the big leagues, which should help him the next time he is called up.