The San Diego Padres are set to promote Jacob Nix this week.
The floodgates have been opened and the youth movement has finally begun.
After the struggles of Clayton Richard and the release of Tyson Ross and Jordan Lyles via waiver claims, the Padres are going to use the rest of the season to allow their young guns in the minors to audition for roles in next year’s rotation.
The 40-man roster is currently set at 39 players, so the addition of Nix will complete the 40-man roster. This means that a veteran pitcher like Richard or an excess catcher like Raffy Lopez will not find themselves stuck in the limbo known as being designated for assignment, at least for right now
After Ross and Lyles were let go, Andy Green made it clear that the Padres were ready to start looking at younger options with an eye towards next season, and Nix will be the next man up in what should be a long list of players called up from Triple-A to make their major league debuts.
Nix will be the eighth pitcher to make his major league debut for the Padres, and the fifth starter behind Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, Walker Lockett, and Brett Kennedy. Robert Stock, Jose Castillo, and Wingenter have made their debuts in the bullpen.
I'm hearing the Padres plan to promote right-hander Jacob Nix later this week. Seems likely he starts one of the team's three games against Philadelphia. Nix has a 1.84 Minors ERA this year and is the club's 14th-ranked prospect, per @MLBPipeline.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) August 8, 2018
Nix, the 14th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has earned his shot in Padres blue (or brown as it should be). The 2015 3rd-round pick has pitched primarily in Double-A San Antonio and has made one start in Triple-A, throwing six innings of shutout ball while striking out three in his lone game for El Paso. For San Antonio, Nix pitched to a superb 2.05 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Nix sports a 3.41 FIP and a 3.96 xFIP as well, but those numbers can be taken with a grain of salt as he made only ten starts in the minors and pitched 58.2 innings due to a groin injury slowing him down early in the season and delaying his start.
The wave of talent began with Lucchesi and Lauer, and it continues now with Kennedy and Nix. We could very well be seeing the promotions of Luis Urias and Francisco Mejia any day now as the Padres began to test their prospects against Major League-caliber players. Jacob Nix, however, is certainly up to the challenge.