According to a Nicaraguan newspaper (link is in Spanish) Vicente Padilla will be scouted by Rene Gayo and the Pittsburgh Pirates next week, possibly during his next start down in Nicaragua. Padilla pitched just nine relief games this past season for the Los Angeles Dodgers before going on the DL with a forearm injury, then extending the DL stay due to a neck injury which required surgery. Padilla also missed part of spring training and the beginning of the season due to injury.
Padilla is 34 years old and has pitched in the majors since 1999 compiling a 104-90 4.31 record in 237 starts and 93 relief appearances. In 2010 for the Dodgers he had a 6-5 4.07 record in 16 starts with a 1.08 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 95 innings. In two starts in the Nicaragua based professional league, he has thrown 13 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out 11 batters. He fastball has been clocked consistently at 94 mph and he has shown great control on all of his pitches. He is quoted in the article as saying he has experienced no discomfort in either his forearm or neck during two starts.
According to the article, he has expressed interest in signing with the Pirates to help “re-launch” his career.
UPDATE: According to Rob Biertempfel, a source with the Pirates has denied the report from the Nicaraguan newspaper and the quotes from Padilla’s agent about scouting him this week. The Pirates are currently holding meetings in Bradenton that include Rene Gayo and it is possible their plans have changed since Thursday afternoon when the original article ran. We will update this post if anything changes.