The Padres have announced the promotion of 25-year-old catcher Austin Allen to the active roster. Sidewinding reliever Eric Yardley will be optioned back to Triple-A El Paso after appearing in just two games with the team. This will be Allen’s third stint with the team in 2019–his first year of action in the big leagues.
Allen’s recall should not be seen as having a great impact on the already crowded picture behind the San Diego dish. While Andy Green continues to dole out something of a 60/40 playing time split between Francisco Mejia and Austin Hedges, Allen’s promotion will likely be made in an effort to bolster the team’s tepid bench group. MLB.com beat writer AJ Cassavell points out that the Padres are in “dire need of bench help”–a fairly accurate portrait, considering that manager Andy Green has recently only had Hedges, Wil Myers, and rookie Ty France to turn to in search of late-inning at-bats.
In his previous two call-ups, Allen only managed a .250/.327/.318 line, but his minor league track record bears the markings of a potentially forceful big league bat. Across five seasons and 1998 at-bats in the developmental ranks, Allen owns a .296/.354/.490 batting line–production impressive from a player at any position, let alone a catcher. It remains to be seen how he will be deployed in the field for the team moving forward; Allen does have one appearance at first base this season, but that position is entrenched by the person and contract of one Eric Hosmer.
Yardley was called upon to spin 2.2 innings of work in last night’s 11-0 nothing beating at the hands of the Red Sox, but will be summarily issued back to Triple-A after amassing a 9.00 ERA across three innings this week. His own minor league track record portends a useful arm, as Yardley’s 2.63 ERA in 61.2 Triple-A innings this year is rather impressive considering the PCL confines in which he has been pitching.