The Padres announced a slew of roster moves Sunday, including the reinstatement of catcher Austin Hedges from the disabled list and the selection of right-hander Robert Stock from Triple-A. The club also placed righty Jordan Lyles on the DL with right elbow inflammation, recalled reliever Kazuhisa Makita and optioned both reliever Phil Maton and catcher Rafael Lopez. With a full 40-man roster, the Padres will need to create an opening for Stock.
Hedges is back after going on the DL on May 1 because of tendinitis in his right elbow. The 25-year-old struggled at the plate before then, hitting .173/.235/.293 in 81 trips. On the other hand, the defensively gifted Hedges shined as a pitch framer, per Baseball Prospectus. He’ll rejoin A.J. Ellis to comprise the Padres’ top two catchers, pushing Lopez out of the mix. Lopez didn’t take advantage of Hedges’ absence, as he has batted a meager .180/.263/.290 in 114 PAs and offered subpar pitch-framing work this season.
Stock, 28, is finally in position to make his major league debut nine years after the Cardinals chose him in the second round of the 2009 draft. A two-way player at USC, where he was also a catcher, Stock converted to pitching on a full-time basis after the 2011 season. Also a former Pirate and Red (not to mention an indy league participant), Stock joined the Padres prior to 2018 and has since fared well in the minors, including a 23 1/3-inning run at Triple-A, where he has logged a 1.93 ERA with 9.26 K/9, 3.86 BB/9 and a 55.6 percent groundball rate.
Lyles’ issue isn’t expected to require surgery, but he’ll see a doctor Monday, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The 27-year-old has collected 21 appearances (eight starts) this year and recorded a 4.46 ERA with 7.56 K/9, 2.43 BB/9 and a 46.8 percent grounder rate over 66 2/3 innings.
Given the numbers Maton has posted this year out of San Diego’s impressive bullpen, his demotion comes as a surprise. The 25-year-old has recorded a 1.53 ERA with 9.17 K/9 and 4.08 BB/9, though he went on the DL with a right lat strain on May 13 and hasn’t been effective in his two outings since returning this week. Over a total of 1 2/3 innings in those appearances, Maton allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and a walk.