Now Commenting On:

Quackenbush gets taste of big league closer's role

Quackenbush gets taste of big league closer's role play video for Quackenbush gets taste of big league closer's role

MINNEAPOLIS -- For all the success Padres rookie reliever Kevin Quackenbush had closing games in the Minor Leagues, he's been reminded a handful of times this season that getting outs late in games here in the big leagues can be a far more difficult endeavor.

"I try not to think too much about it, because up here, the stage is bigger … there's a lot more fans, we play in bigger ballparks," Quackenbush said Tuesday. "It's a slippery slope because if you put too much pressure on yourself, it becomes harder to do your job."

So far, with the exception of a few bumps, Quackenbush's rookie season is going well, so much so that he's earned the trust of manager Bud Black to get a handful of high-leverage spots out of the bullpen.

Going into Tuesday's game against the Twins at Target Field, Quackenbush is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 36 games this season with 31 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings while allowing 22 hits.

"I feel like I've done all right," Quackenbush said. "There have been some really good outings and some shaky ones. It's part of baseball. I think I've done OK so far."

Quackenbush has been getting more high-leverage innings since the team traded All-Star closer Huston Street to the Angels on July 18. That's when eighth-inning specialist Joaquin Benoit became the closer.

Quackenbush is getting a lot because of his stuff and because of his Minor League pedigree -- a 1.16 ERA and 68 saves over four seasons.

"He has the weapons to pitch late in the game," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Now it's a matter of getting him experience and [learning] how to work his way through a Major League inning. That takes time. There's going to be a time where he's not a secret anymore.

"But I like this guy's head and determination. He doesn't scare off. His intent is to get the hitter out. And I like the fact that he's the aggressor."

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

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español