Right-hander Adam Eaton is headed to the disabled list because of a groin strain, and the Padres plan to call up a Double-A pitcher who has only six games of U.S. professional experience.
Roger Deago, a 25-year-old left-hander, will start Saturday at Shea Stadium again the New York Mets. It is expected to be a one-start assignment. Lefty Mike Bynum has the nod tonight, which would have been Eaton’s normal turn in the rotation.
Eaton was injured Sunday afternoon in a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He hoped he would not miss a start, but he did not pass muster during a bullpen session Thursday in Montreal.
Deago gets the nod over some more experienced Triple-A pitchers because Saturday falls on his scheduled turn to pitch. He is a veteran of Panama’s national team but had not played in the minor leagues until this year. He is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA for Double-A Mobile this season.
“I guess scouts didn’t want to take a chance on him because he’s not a big guy and doesn’t throw hard,” said Padres farm director Tye Waller.
Waller said Deago uses a variety of pitches and must rely on precise location. Deago usually throws only 84-85 mph but mixes in various breaking balls, a changeup and a newly developed cutter. Despite the lack of velocity, Deago has 32 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings this year.
Published in the North County Times on May 9, 2003.