July 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Kevin Quackenbush (59) pitches the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Mighty Duck: Kevin Quackenbush

The San Diego Padres made rare waves across the fantasy baseball sphere when they dealt closer Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  The outcome of the trade was that Street now closed for LAA, Joe Smith moved back into a set-up role, and experienced bullpen arm, Joaquin Benoit, became the new closer of the Padres.

Benoit is successful veteran reliever that has caught the interest of many teams, so if the Padres decide to sell a second closer before the trade deadline, then Kevin Quackenbush could take over as closer.

According to Chris Jenkins of U-T San Diego, Quackenbush is next in line to close for the Padres.

This captured my attention and caused me to learn more about Kevin Quackenbush who owns arguably one of the best (and most obvious) nicknames in all of Major League Baseball.

“Quack” is a career closer who has posted high K/9 and low ERA’s throughout his career in the Padres’ minor league system.  The number that really stood out to me is that Quackenbush has only allowed 1 homer in 30 innings pitched.  I personally think that Petco Park is making quite a difference so far.

In fact, his home/road splits are astronomically different.  Quackenbush is unhittable at Petco and significantly worse on the road in 2014.

Home/Away
IP
ERA
ER
BB
K
AVG
Home16.10.551615.094
Away13.25.278515.231

However, some of the advanced stats do not tell the same story for “Quack” on the road.  It seems that he is able to strand runners more effectively at home while hitters also have a much lower BABIP against Quackenbush at home.  “Quack” seems to be a lucky duck at Petco.

Home/Away
K/9
BB/9
K/BB
BABIP
LOB%
FIP
xFIP
Home8.273.763.00.13290.0%2.223.45
Away9.882.633.75.30657.7%2.993.15

In 2014, Kevin Quackenbush has been a successful reliever who is lights out at home and does a great job of keeping the ball in the park, despite some rough numbers on the road.

What really matters from a fantasy perspective is if he gets those elusive save chances.  I would lean towards no because I think Benoit stays in San Diego.  However, “Quack” is definitely a name to be ready to instantly add if Benoit is dealt. You should at least keep him stored in your mind because he will probably close for San Diego in the future.

My only hope is that one day Kevin Quackenbush becomes the Padres closer and instead of having intro music as he enters the game, the Friars faithful all chant “Quack!  Quack!  Quack!” loud enough to make Gordon Bombay proud.

Tags: Kevin Quackenbush MLB Relief Pitchers San Diego Padres

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