SAN DIEGO -- The Padres on Sunday recalled right-hander Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A El Paso and optioned left-hander Chris Rearick to El Paso as well.
Mazzoni came to the organization when the Padres traded Alex Torres to the New York Mets in March. The 25-year-old Mazzoni has never pitched in the Majors, and got the call that he was joining the Padres late Saturday night from El Paso manager Pat Murphy, then caught an early flight to San Diego to be ready for the series finale against the Dodgers on Sunday.
"Murphy called me about 11:30 last night to tell me I was going up," Mazzoni said before Sunday's game. "I was really excited and had to wake up my parents and my girlfriend on the East Coast, so it was like 2:00 in the morning there. I don't know if it's really set in yet, I haven't even stepped outside yet."
With a number of relievers unavailable for the game on Sunday due to overuse, including Brandon Maurer, Dale Thayer, and likely Odrisamer Despaigne, the Padres had a need to add another arm to the bullpen. Manager Bud Black said Mazzoni was at the top of the list due to his recent performance for El Paso, where he had a 1.08 ERA with 13 strikeouts and just one walk over six relief outings.
"We needed an arm, and Cory was the guy who was pitching the best for El Paso," Black said.
Prior to acquiring Mazzoni in the Spring, the Padres had Mazzoni on their radar, according to Black. After seeing him pitch in Spring Training, Black was impressed with Mazzoni's arsenal.
"We had good reports on him going back to his amateur days at North Carolina State," Black said. "We got him in the Spring for Alex Torres, and I went down to Minor League camp to watch him throw a couple of innings in an intra-squad game. I liked what I saw as far as delivery and his arm strength and his stuff. I guess he has really come on the scene the last couple of years. The way he was throwing at El Paso, from all of our reports, this guy was coming fast."
Black also indicated that the organization does not view Mazzoni strictly as a reliever, given his repertoire.
"Not that it's etched in stone," Black said. "I mean, this guy has a good arm and he has got starter weapons. We saw him pitch in relief and he's been showing his velocity since he went to the pen."
For now, Mazzoni will reinforce the San Diego bullpen as he attempts to make the most of his first opportunity in the Majors and reward the organization that acquired him in the off-season.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.