EL PASO, Texas - It may not be what fans want to hear in the long-term, but Chihuahuas infielder Matthew Batten was El Paso's best pitcher Sunday night vs. the Round Rock Express.
And while Batten flashed an off speed arsenal that not even the Express hitters could touch, most will be happy to know that bullpen reinforcements are on the way.
Batten's 8th-inning strikeout of Express catcher Jose Felix proved to be the highlight in a 12-5 El Paso loss on Sunday, as a 10-run Express 3rd inning laid the outcome blueprint in Round Rock.
After beginning the shortstop, Batten came on to pitch the last two outs of the 8th inning after reliever Luke Wesphal left with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. After striking out Felix, Batten got Trace Loehr to ground out to first base to the end inning.
Sunday capped an eventful week for the Chihuahuas in which they saw manager Edwin Rodriguez step down on Wednesday, capping a four-year run within the San Diego Padres' organization.
Pitching Coach Eric Junge has assumed the interim manager position.
The Chihuahuas did receive some exciting news Sunday when the Padres officially announced the promoiton of Joe Beimel to Triple AAA El Paso.
The 44-year-old Beimel, who resides in El Paso and runs local baseball clinic Beimel Elite Athletics, is attempting an MLB comeback after a 13-year career as a relief pitcher with seven different organizations.
Beimel pitched to a 2.21 ERA with 16 strikeouts with Double AA San Antonio.