Tucson Padres: Hefner a Padres mainstay

2011-08-09T00:00:00Z Tucson Padres: Hefner a Padres mainstayDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 09, 2011 12:00 am  • 

The Tucson Padres opened the year with a starting rotation of Wade LeBlanc, Simon Castro, Will Inman, Josh Geer and Jeremy Hefner.

Four months later, Hefner, who started Tucson's 10-2 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday is the only one still in the rotation. LeBlanc is in the big leagues, Castro is in Double-A, Inman is in Tucson's bullpen, and Geer's season ended after two starts.

Pitching coach Steve Webber has seen 14 pitchers start a game this season for Tucson with Hefner making the most (22).

"The first thing I try to do is get to know them," Webber said. "Hopefully, we can develop a trust with each other and have some dialogue and some exchange and see where they want to go and how it all plays out."

Tucson, which ranked third to last in the PCL in team ERA at 5.90 entering Monday, seems to have a rotation in place now that could stay together for the final month of the season if they all stay healthy.

Hefner is joined by Samuel Deduno, Rob Musgrave, John Ven Benschoten and Jon Leicester.

Here's a breakdown of Tucson's five current starters:

Jeremy Hefner

• Age: 25

• Stats: 8-6, 5.85 ERA in 23 starts

• How he got to Triple-A: Hefner had an impressive season for Double-A San Antonio in 2010, posting a 2.95 ERA in 28 starts and going 11-8. The Perkins, Okla., native was assigned to Tucson before the season and is just one of six players who have spent the entire season with the Triple-A team.

• His best start: Hefner tossed seven shutout innings June 9 against Las Vegas in a 6-0 win.

Samuel Deduno

• Age: 28

• Stats: 3-3, 3.68 ERA in 34 appearances (six starts)

• How he got to Triple-A: After being claimed off waivers in the offseason by San Diego from Colorado, Deduno opened the year in the major leagues but was sent to Tucson after just two appearances.

• His best start: Deduno received a no-decision in a July 31 start against Salt Lake but was excellent, going seven innings, giving up two runs and striking out eight.

Rob Musgrave

• Age: 25

• Stats: 0-0, 5.52 ERA in 3 starts

• How he got to Triple-A: Musgrave opened the year in San Antonio and was called up twice, once in April and once in May to make spot starts. He was summoned again this month.

• His best start: His last time out, Musgrave went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs in a no-decision against New Orleans.

John Ven Benschoten

• Age: 31

• Stats: 1-4, 7.52 in 5 starts

• How he got to Triple-A: The former first-round pick started the year in independent ball but was signed in July when Tucson was searching for a starting pitcher. This is his seventh season in Triple-A.

• His best start: Van Benschoten's second time out, he went seven innings and gave up four hits and three runs in a 6-4 win over Las Vegas.

Jon Leicester

• Age: 32

• Stats: 4-6, 6.69 ERA in 22 appearances (20 starts)

• How he got to Triple-A: Leicester pitched in Triple-A in 2008 for Norfolk but then opted to spend the next two seasons playing in Japan for the Orix BlueWave. He came back before this season and hooked up with Tucson.

• His best start: In Fresno, Leicester went seven innings May 9, giving up three hits and one unearned run.

Inside pitch

• Tucson called up 17-year-old catcher Rodney Daal from the rookie league Padres of the Arizona League. Daal, who is from the Netherlands, will mostly be used as a bench bat.


• Who: Oklahoma City at Padres

• Where: Kino Stadium

• When: 7 p.m.

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