Vincent recalled, makes big league debut

Vincent recalled, makes big league debut

HOUSTON -- When right-hander Nick Vincent was called up to the Padres for the first time on May 18, his mechanics weren't in good shape. He was with the club for two games, and didn't pitch in either before being optioned to Triple-A Tucson on May 20.

After getting called up for a second time before Tuesday's game, Vincent said his mechanics are more refined. He's also not as shocked to be on a Major League roster.

Vincent got his first taste of the big league mound in the Padres' 5-3 loss to the Astros, firing two hitless innings while striking out two and walking one.

"The first one's always the hardest one, I think," Vincent said. "As soon as you get through that, you just have to work on keeping the ball down and getting guys out."

"It was good to see Nick get in the game," manager Bud Black said. "He's had a nice run in Double-A the last two weeks, pitching very well. He carried that over."

The Padres optioned reliever Brad Boxberger to Tucson to make room for Vincent. They also moved right-hander Joe Wieland from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

After his brief stay with the Padres, Vincent, 25, went to Tucson before coaches said that he needed to pitch more regularly in a defined role than he could with the Triple-A club. So Vincent was sent to Double-A San Antonio, which he was fine with.

"It's hard to fix your stuff when you're only throwing every fourth day," Vincent said.

At San Antonio, Vincent decided to abandon throwing out of the windup because it put too much pressure on the ankle he injured after stepping on a ball in Spring Training. He has only been throwing out of the stretch in recent outings, and he's seen some success. In his last nine appearances, all for San Antonio, Vincent was 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. He struck out 15 without issuing a walk.

"As long as you do that, someone's going to see it," Vincent said. "I've been doing well. I don't know if they're short on arms or not, but I'm just happy to be back up here. I'm going to take the opportunity and go with it."

Black said the Padres' evaluators felt that Vincent's recent numbers was more indicative of his pitching ability than what he did with Tucson. In 8 2/3 innings pitched with Tucson, Vincent had an 11.42 ERA.

"We're getting a guy that's throwing the ball well in the Minor Leagues," Black said. "Let's hope that carries over."