Padres Peg Prospect to Take on Rays Saturday
The Padres announced Wednesday afternoon that Saturday’s game would have 23-year old Burch Smith take the mound against Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays. Smith has been listed as the Padres no. 20 prospect by MLB.com and has impressed the club during his short time with Double-A San Antonio, going 1-2 with a 1.15 ERA in six starts. Smith has also struck out 37 batters in 33 and 1/3 innings with the Missions, and is currently holding the opposition to a .155 batting average.
Originally, starting pitcher Andrew Cashner was listed as Saturday’s starter but the Padres decided to give Cashner an extra day of rest so as to fit Smith into the rotation. Much like Cashner, Smith has been clocked at tossing a fastball over 100 MPH and is notorious for being a hard throwing right-handed pitcher. A corresponding roster move will be announced on Friday or Saturday.
Burch was selected out of the 14th round of the 2011 First-Year Player draft from the University of Oklahoma. Last season Smith went 9-6 with a 3.85 ERA for Single-A Lake Elsinore, striking out 137 in his first full professional season.