SoCal native Rzepczynski glad to be home
MIAMI -- New Padres reliever Marc Rzepczynski grew up in Orange County and was an Angels fan, though he did admit Saturday to having a soft spot for the Padres.
Or, rather, the Friars.
Rzepczynski, a left-handed reliever, was acquired from the Indians before Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. He now returns to the West Coast, close to his high school roots in Anaheim where he played at Servite High, home of the Friars.
"Kind of interesting I get to do that," Rzepczynski said of playing for the Padres.
It didn't take long for Rzepczynski to get into his first game with San Diego. He entered in the seventh inning Saturday with two on and got two outs -- two groundouts -- on three pitches that helped preserve the Padres' 5-3 victory over the Marlins.
The Padres acquired the 29-year-old to give them a left-hander in the bullpen. They have not had one since Frank Garces was sent to Triple-A on July 8.
"You can survive without one, but it's more helpful to have one," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy.
Rzepczynski arrived Saturday afternoon and was in uniform for the game against the Marlins at Marlins Park.
Rzepczynski has held left-handed hitters to a .212/.284/.286 line in a Major League career that started in 2009 with the Blue Jays. He's allowed lefties to hit .264 against him this season in 53 at-bats, the results of, he said, a lot of hits early in counts.
"It's one of those for me where guys were getting first-pitch hits, early hits off me," he said. "In Baltimore [on June 26], I gave up three hits on three pitches. I've never seen that before.
"I think it's been a lot of ground-ball hits I've given up, so a little bit of [bad] luck. But I was giving up too many early hits."
Rzepczynski, who mostly offers a sinker and slider to left-handed batters and will also throw a changeup to righties, is looking forward to a new opportunity. He's played with Brett Wallace when both were with the Blue Jays, but doesn't have a history with anyone else on the team.
He comes to the Padres with extensive time in the postseason from his time with the Cardinals (2011-13). He pitched in the World Series in '11 and '13.
"It was absolutely awesome. As a little kid you want to play in the World Series," Rzepczynski said. "I built a lot of my career off that."
Rzepczynski makes his home in Aliso Viejo, which is about one hour north of Petco Park, his new home ballpark. His parents live in Yorba Linda, in east Orange County. They'll be able to see him play more now in person.
"It will be nice to sleep in my own bed," he said. "It's been a while."