The San Diego Padres made a surprising roster move Wednesday, optioning rookie sensation Chris Paddack to Single-A and recalling reliever Robert Stock from Triple-A. Paddack, who had started most recently Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants, is not expected to remain in the minors for long, but must spend at least 10 days down per MLB rules.
To be clear: Paddack’s demotion is not performance-related. How could it be? Even after encountering some recent turbulence, he’s sporting a 133 ERA+ and has more than five strikeouts per walk across his first 12 starts.
Rather, Paddack is heading to the minors so as to help curb his workload. As we wrote about earlier in the year, he’s thrown more than 50 innings in a season just once — and that was last year, when he threw 90. Already Paddack has amassed more than 65 frames this season. The Padres, for their part, have done what they could to limit his exposure by leveraging their impressive depth to enlist spot-starters throughout the season.
By optioning Paddack, the Padres are giving him a chance to rest without having to play a man short. And no, this isn’t necessarily going to impact his service time. Players who are optioned for fewer than 20 days throughout a season receive credit for the periods in which they were in the minors as well.
Think of Paddack’s demotion, then, as a paper move — albeit one that will keep him off a big-league mound for more than a week.