The Padres have recalled right-hander Anthony Bass from Triple-A Tuscon to make Monday night’s start at Coors Field, a fine place for a pitcher to make his big-league debut. Bass takes Aaron Harang’s spot on the roster (DL, right foot) and is starting in place of Dustin Moseley, whose status remains uncertain after he dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder while swinging a bat last week. Moseley could start on Tuesday, although if he isn’t ready to go, southpaw Wade LeBlanc — scheduled to start for Tucson on Monday — is another option.
As for Bass, I saw him a couple of times at Lake Elsinore. He he has decent velocity and mixes his pitches well, drew praise for his command when drafted (2008, fifth round, Wayne State), and is aggressive. I like him more than I probably should.
I ranked Bass as the Padres no. 23 prospect in the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual and identified him (along with James Darnell and Jorge Minyeti) as a sleeper. From the book:
Bass’ delivery elicits comparisons to that of San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum. Used out of the ‘pen in his pro debut, Bass profiles as a starter. His fastball runs 92-94 mph, and he backs it up with a good slider and changeup. Bass is praised for his pitch sequences and confidence; he is expected to advance quickly and is very much worth tracking.
Last spring I again sang Bass’ praises:
[Bass] enjoyed a solid full-season debut, excelling at Fort Wayne and then holding his own after a mid-season promotion to Lake Elsinore. The Padres have been very cautious with his workload but he could move quickly. For his career, Bass owns a 2.45 ERA in 158 IP. The one potential negative is a relatively pedestrian strikeout rate (7.41 K/9).
Bass just missed making this year’s top 20 primarily due to the aforementioned lack of dominance. Still, toward the end of April, his pitching coach at San Antonio, Jimmy Jones, suggested that Bass wasn’t long for the minors. So it has come to pass.
Oh, and about that strikeout rate… bearing in mind the small samples, here’s something you like to see:
Age Lvl K/9 LgK/9 22 A+ 7.4 7.8 23 AA 8.5 7.4
Is Bass going to be great? No. Could he make a decent no. 4 starter in the big leagues? I think he probably could.