Padres' No. 5 prospect Mazur to debut vs. Halos

June 4th, 2024

ANAHEIM -- The Padres are set to call up Adam Mazur -- their No. 5 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline -- to fill their rotation vacancy on Tuesday, manager Mike Shildt said. Mazur joined the club on Monday ahead of the series opener in Anaheim, where he’ll make his big league debut against the Angels.

“Just continue to be myself,” said Mazur, a 23-year-old right-handed strike-thrower. “There’s a reason why I’m getting here today. Just go out there and try to get outs, help the Padres win a game.”

San Diego’s starting rotation took a hit on Saturday when the club placed both Joe Musgrove (right elbow inflammation) and Yu Darvish (left groin strain) on the 15-day injured list. The Padres called up Randy Vásquez to start on Saturday in Kansas City in place of Musgrove. Darvish’s turn in the rotation comes up on Tuesday.

Mazur was the choice to fill it, over Adrian Morejon and Jhony Brito -- two long relievers with the big league club who aren’t currently built up to cover a full starter’s workload. Shildt made it clear that Mazur’s outing shouldn’t be viewed as a spot start. Given the question marks in the rotation, Mazur could be auditioning for additional big league starts.

“This game’s about opportunity and what you do with it,” Shildt said. “He’s going to get one tomorrow night. We’re excited for him. He’s earned it. He’s done a nice job. … Just like Randy, he’s got an opportunity, starting to take advantage of it. The better you do, the more you get.”

Mazur opened the year with a 1.95 ERA across six starts with Double-A San Antonio. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A El Paso, where he struggled in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, posting a 7.11 ERA in four starts. But his command never wavered. Mazur has recorded 50 strikeouts to just nine walks across 51 1/3 innings this season.

“I’m really just attacking with most of my stuff,” Mazur said of the key to his success this season. “Made some minor tweaks to pitch grips … and I’ve just really felt comfortable with those pitches. Looking to continue to go forward with them.”

Mazur sports a fastball in the mid-90s, with a tight slider as his top putaway weapon. He supplements those two pitches with a curveball and a changeup -- the two pitches he recently tweaked. He says those secondary offerings are the biggest reason for his increased success against left-handed hitters this season.

Mazur’s callup comes less than two years after he was selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of the University of Iowa. A year ago, he posted a 2.81 ERA in his first full professional season, earning his first invitation to big league camp.

Mazur received the news of his callup during a team meeting with El Paso on Sunday. He had begun to do the math when he was lifted early from his start on Thursday, knowing the Padres had injury concerns in their rotation. Then he didn’t hear anything for a few days.

“You’re always hopeful,” he said. “This is the goal I’ve had since Day 1. … I was just preparing myself for [the next start at Triple-A], then I got the callup.”

The Padres will need to make a move prior to Tuesday’s game to add Mazur, who is not on their 40-man roster.