Okay, before you get all bent out of shape San Diego Padres fans. I would like to see Maurer sent down to AAA to extend him. Stretch his arm out as an attempt to make him a starter towards the end of the season. Right now Maurer has the ability to slide right in to the rotation. He has three quality pitches and the moxie to go after hitters three different times during a game.
Watching Maurer pitch on Wednesday, I was once again reminded that he is very special. Acquired in December from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Seth Smith, Maurer has been solid for the Padres in the bullpen thus far this season. In the top of the eighth inning on Wednesday, Maurer went right after Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. He induced a fly out from Fowler and got Bryant to pop out to shortstop after making him look foolish on a change-up.
The at-bat against Rizzo was the most impressive as Maurer fell behind him with a 3-1 count. Brandon Maurer threw Rizzo a fantastic change on 3-1 for a strike and then put away the slugging first baseman with a nasty slider in the dirt. The ability to use your off-speed pitches when behind in the count, is very valuable for a major league pitcher. Maurer has consistently showed this ability and will eventually be a member of the Padres rotation.
The San Diego Padres coveted Maurer for the past two years. Last July when the Padres moved Chris Denorfia to the Mariners, the Padres reportedly asked for Maurer. The Mariners declined and the Padres eventually settled for Abraham Almonte in exchange for Denorfia. When the two teams began talking this past off-season, Maurer was once again who the Padres wanted and this time they got their man.
At the age of 24, Brandon Maurer has a very bright future in the big leagues. He has great size and exceptional mechanics. His current ERA is 2.37 in which he has allowed 12 hits and five runs in 19 innings while striking out 12 and walking six batters. Not overly impressive numbers by any means, but he does provide the Padres a very valuable starter in the future for the team.
I realize he is pitching well right now and is an important member of the bullpen. However with names like Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit, Dale Thayer and Kevin Quackenbush his importance to the team might be more evident as a potential starting pitcher. Maurer is comfortable being a reliever at the moment but has expressed interest in possibly starting. The ball is in the Padres court. We will see how they handle this young phenomenal pitcher.