Manager keeps the faith in Vincent

Manager keeps the faith in Vincent

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres reliever Nick Vincent has been hit hard in his first two appearances this spring, but manager Bud Black's support of the right-hander isn't wavering. Not by a long shot.

"Come March 30, he's going to be fine," Black said. "We'll get him back out there pitching in a couple days and he'll have a good outing. He's fine."

Vincent, a Poway native, surrendered four runs (two earned) on four hits in 2/3 of an inning in his spring debut Sunday against the Reds. Then on Tuesday, the D-backs smacked four consecutive hits off the 27-year-old to start his afternoon, resulting in three earned runs.

"He's working on his fastball command and some other things," Black said. "He can pitch up at the hands, but he's also got to be able to throw the ball down and he hasn't done that much of that his first two outings."

Over the last two seasons, Vincent made a combined 72 relief appearances for the Padres, accumulating a stellar 1.98 ERA with 77 strikeouts using mostly a fastball-cutter combination. What Black likes most about him, however, is his knack for attacking the zone. He has only walked 18 batters in 72 2/3 Major League innings.

"His first couple years he has shown that he's trustworthy as far as throwing strikes and not beating himself in close ballgames," Black said. "I like that aspect of him. His performance will dictate where he ends up, like all players, but he's got a lot of intangibles going for him that sets him up for more roles that might be deemed critical. I'm not afraid to use this guy, I like him."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.