Vincent getting noticed as he expands repertoire

Vincent getting noticed as he expands repertoire

MILWAUKEE -- The best kept secret in the Padres' bullpen isn't much of a secret to his teammates or his pitching coach.

Or, quite possibly, the rest of baseball.

Reliever Nick Vincent entered Tuesday's game against the Brewers having retired the last 19 hitters he's faced. He hasn't allowed a hit or a run in his last 6 2/3 innings going back to April 4.

"[His success] is carrying over from last year when he was our go-to guy last year with men on base," said Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley. "He's a huge part of our bullpen, he throws early strikes, there's no fear there and his cutter is one of the best in the game."

But Vincent has certainly evolved into something more than just a one-trick pony since he arrived in the big leagues in 2012.

He ranks fourth in the big leagues in ERA (1.87) among relievers with at least 80 innings since 2014. His 81 2/3 innings can no longer be called a small sample-size.

He's inherited eight baserunners this season and stranded all of them.

In a victory over the Giants on April 19, Vincent struck out the side, getting Buster Posey, Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval. He got Posey with a cutter and the last two hitters on fastballs.

"His fastball is sneaky, it jumps on guys. The majority of his strikeouts are on his four-seamer. He has an excellent spin rate on his fastball," Balsley said.

"He's using his sinker and changeup more this year. Last year was fastball and cutter. He's starting to expand his repertoire. You can't go up there and sit on one speed, one movement."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.