TODAY: The move is now official. Asuaje will be the player who’s sent out. The 26-year-old has struggled to a .198/.263/.292 slash in 118 plate appearances.
YESTERDAY: The Padres will promote outfielder Franmil Reyes prior to Monday’s game against the Rockies, James E. Clark of the East Village Times reports. The corresponding move isn’t yet known, though San Diego has an open 40-man spot after Chase Headley was designated for assignment on Saturday.
Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, the 22-year-old Reyes was something of an unheralded prospect entering the season, as he wasn’t ranked by either Baseball America or MLB.com as one of the top 30 minor leaguers in the Padres’ system despite solid numbers at the high-A and Double-A levels in 2016-17. (Granted, the Padres’ farm system is particularly deep in quality prospects.) In his first exposure to Triple-A pitching, however, Reyes has taken the Pacific Coast League by storm, entering today’s action with an astounding .346/.440/.748 slash line and 14 home runs over 150 plate appearances.
Reyes hit 16 homers at high-A ball in 2016 and 25 homers at Double-A last season, though his latest power surge is as eye-popping as it gets, even with the caveat that the PCL is a very hitter-friendly league. Given that the Padres are lacking both home run pop and hitting in general, it makes that the team would ride the hot hand and see what Reyes can provide at the big league level.
It remains to be seen who will leave the roster to make room for Reyes, though the obvious candidate seems to be Matt Szczur, who has only 47 PA this season and is also a right-handed hitting outfielder. Szczur is out of options, however, so if the Padres don’t want to expose him to waivers, Carlos Asuaje or perhaps a reliever could be candidates. San Diego’s outfield situation could be further crowded by the return of Hunter Renfroe, who is working his way back from an elbow injury, though Renfroe has yet to begin a rehab assignment and could receive some extended time the minors anyway to get his own hitting on track.