With the news of Robbie Erlin hitting the DL a couple of days ago, the Friars dug into their AA roster for a replacement. They found what they are hoping is a hidden nugget in Cesar Vargas. Vargas is slated to start Saturday night's home game against the St. Louis Cardinals for his major league debut.
RHP Cesar Vargas is in San Diego and scheduled to start tomorrow night's game which will be his @MLB debut.— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 22, 2016
The soon-to-be rookie has made his presence felt with the San Antonio Missions early on in 2016. He has posted a 1.42 ERA, 1.25 FIP, and a 33% strikeout rate through 12.2 IP. In 2015, Vargas pitched 73 innings of relief work and piled up 76 K and 22 BB. The Puebla, Mexico native was also impressive during the team's trip to Mexico City during Spring Training. He tossed 3 shutout innings and struck out five.
It's unclear how long Vargas will be with the San Diego Padres. If he struggles, it depends on how long Brandon Morrow takes to rehab to take his spot. I envision the Padres giving Vargas this spot start and another one unless something terribly wrong happens in his debut. If he shows that he can pitch to the major leaguers, he should stick for a while at least until Morrow, Erlin, and Ross are completely healthy again.
All in all, it's an exciting day for the young man and even the ball club. They will both get a chance to capture a little bit of what the future might hold for them respectively. Who knows, maybe Cesar comes in and throws that no-hitter that San Diego's been looking for since FOREVER.
Fantasy Purposes: If he comes up and has a good game against a tough Cardinal lineup, I'd find room to add him in deep leagues. STEAMER is actually giving him some love with decent projections: 3.53 ERA, 8.62 K/9, 0.8 HR/9. That's not too shabby for a guy that no one has heard of except the organization that signed him as a minor-league free agent last winter.