The San Diego Padres have tapped into their prospect pipeline in hopes of bolstering their starting rotation.
The organization's top pitching prospect and No. 2 overall prospect Colin Rea is slated to make his major-league debut on Tuesday, when the Padres take on the Cincinnati Reds at home.
To make room for Rea in the rotation, starter Odrisamer Despaigne has been relegated to the bullpen.
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Rea, who was drafted by the Padres in the 12th round in 2011, is a big presence on the mound at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds.
In five seasons in the minors, the 25-year-old Iowa native has posted a 26-33 record with a 3.38 ERA and 404 strikeouts in 482 2/3 innings.
Rea appears to have turned the corner in his 18 starts in the minors this season, during which he's posted a 5-4 record and held a 1.95 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings.
"He's been a guy that has progressed the last couple of years. A lot of our people in our player development department have had a lot of confidence in him over the last couple of years," assistant general manager Josh Stein said. "He can really attack the strike zone and has started to really believe in his stuff the last couple of years. It's exciting, it's also exciting when we bring up one of our own."
Interim manager Pat Murphy is familiar with Rea after managing him in the Padres farm system.
"I am looking for him to just come in and be himself. It's hard to do when you first get here, but if he just settles in, and I think his teammates will be a big key to get through it," Murphy said. "He will get that [the start] under his belt the first time out and just get better every single time."