It shouldn’t take long to find out if Donn Roach has his good stuff against the Cardinals on Saturday, they’ll be beating the ball into the ground.
Armed with a sinker, Roach has baffled AAA hitters in 14 starts, compiling a 7-1 record with a 2.29 ERA in 82.2 innings. While his strikeout rate of 3.9 K/9 is a career low, he’s only walking 1.6 per nine innings and sports a 1.10 WHIP. He faced the Cardinals AAA affiliate twice, allowing four runs on 10 hits back on April 9 and then surrendered a run over six innings on June 7.
The Cubs claimed the 25-year-old off waivers from San Diego back in November and the Cubs were able to pass the right-hander through waivers in December and assigned him to Iowa.
Roach has been the ace of Iowa’s staff, using his sinking fastball to produce a steady diet of ground balls. In his last outing against Round Rock on June 19, Roach coaxed 16 ground ball outs in seven frames and on May 3 got 17 Oklahoma City hitters to ground out over eight innings.
Roach was on San Diego’s opening day roster last year and made his MLB debut April 2 against the Dodgers, getting the final four outs of a 5-1 loss. He earned his first pro win in relief April 22 against Milwaukee and made his first MLB start on May 28 against the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk in four innings. In 16 games for the Padres, he threw 30.1 innings, with 17 K and 15 BB and a 4.75 ERA. He was sent to AAA in early June.
Roach was originally drafted in the 40th round out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas by the Angels and Los Angles re-drafted him again in the third round in 2010 out of Southern Nevada. He was traded to the Padres in May of 2012 along with IF Alexi Amarista for RHP Ernesto Frieri.