The Padres made a flurry of moves this afternoon, optioning shortstop C.J. Abrams to Triple-A El Paso, reinstating outfielder Wil Myers and first baseman Luke Voit from the 10-day IL, and designating outfielder Trayce Thompson for assignment, reports AJ Cassavell of MLB.com (Twitter link).
The demotion of Abrams, who’d been splitting time at shortstop with Ha-Seong Kim, will come as a disappointment to Padres fans, who’d hoped to see the consensus top-20 prospect (and, until today, youngest player in the NL) hit the ground running in the bigs. But while the 21-year-old has played solid defense in his first taste of the majors, his .182/.270/.273 batting line was simply too much of a drag on an already stagnant Padres offense to give him the playing time the organization will want to give him.
The long-term expectation in San Diego likely remains that Abrams will ultimately dislodge Fernando Tatis Jr. from shortstop, but it may not happen this year unless Abrams can find his stroke in Triple-A. Kim will likely take over primary duties there for the time being, with the recently claimed Sergio Alcántara as his understudy. It isn’t yet clear whether Tatis will reclaim the position upon his expected mid-season return from a fracture in his left wrist, though Abrams’ failure to lay his own claim to it certainly makes that scenario more likely.
Myers and Voit will likely reclaim their spots in the lineup (Myers in right, Voit at DH), though neither had gotten off to a blistering start to the season. Myers, who’s been out since late April with a thumb injury, owns a .218/.254/.273 line in 59 plate appearances, while Voit, also out since late April with a biceps tendon issue, has slashed a mere .143/315/.167 in 54 trips to the plate. Both have proven themselves capable of greater production than they’ve delivered so far, of course, and they should give a boost to a Padres lineup that’s posted a meager 65 wRC+ in May. Manger Bob Melvin has rotated DH duties in Voit’s absence, but Myers will likely take at-bats directly from rookie Jose Azocar (.222/.323/.259 in a 31 PA sample) and the DFAed Thompson.
Indeed, though he’s now appeared in six major league seasons (dating to his 2015 debut with the White Sox) and delivered better-than-replacement-level production on the whole in his big-league career (.205/.280/.397 in 640 plate appearances), Thompson’s departure from the 26-man roster marks another failure to find a permanent home for the 31-year-old former second-rounder. Though he’d hardly played for the Friars (sixteen trips to the plate across six games), his anemic .071/.188/.071 batting line made him a prime choice to fall victim to a roster crunch. As Thompson (the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson) has been outrighted before, he can opt to become a free agent, though he may also choose to accept an assignment if he thinks another big-league opportunity with the Padres could present itself.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
…and sign Billy McKinney?
And like so many teams before them, SD will DFA McKinney 3 weeks later following the realization that he can’t hit very well.
Can’t wait until the day Wil Myers’ AAAA butt is no longer a Padre
Yea.. not the best player in mlb, but defs not a AAAA player.
Since joining San Diego his OPS+ has been under 100 once, at 96. Overpaid, sure. AAAA, no way.
Not surprising with Abrams, but really if they were going to have him break camp with the club, they did a very poor job of using him. He sat for most of the games and hardly had a chance to get going. They didn’t even utilize his speed. If he wasn’t going to get regular ABs, why didn’t they just start the season with him in the minors, where he would have gotten them. Just seems like a weird way to manage him.
Ah, you must be new here.
AgentF, meet A. J. Preller.
Gets 9 likes… jumps for joy. no need need to get out of jammies this week eyyyyy
You forgot to say “Gramps”
They did that due to a lack of depth. With Tatis out the usual utility piece Kim was starting at SS and they had no one else to backup in the infield because another player who should be a utility guy, Profar, is also starting in LF now.
Basically they ended up using their top prospect as a utility man for a month because with the way they constructed their roster they didn’t have any other options.
They could have just done the same thing with Matthew Batten or whatever Alcantara comp was on the waiver wire a month ago.
So a month of part time play at the MLB level is going to derail his career? Guy got a month of MLB service time and pay and 65 PA’s with limited expectations. He’s an adult, uber-talented, professional athlete. I doubt he’s made it this far with a fragile ego. I’ll assume the best of him and say he can handle it until he doesn’t.
Wouldn’t be the first time it happened at all. Look at how the Mets handled Conforto when he first came up… also horrible. Abrams should have been playing over Kim if they are committed to him. If he failed when getting regular ABs, then send him back down to work things out. If the original idea is the have a backup to Kim… yaaaa, well… might as well have had him stay down, get regular at bats and used whoever the heck they had laying around at AAA to play every third day and bat 8th in the lineup. Grown up or not, there is a right and definitely wrong way you treat your best prospects
Conforto started 49 of 67 games and had a 130 OPS+ of 130 in ’15. How is that a comparison? What if Abrams had been injured for 4 weeks at AAA, would that derail his development also?
You Can Put It In The Books
Whaaaaaat are you talking about. This is a terrible take.
Abrams (the person, not the symbol being tossed around here by armchair psychoanalysts) was and is fully understanding of the situation. Listen to him in interviews, impressive dude! He knows why SD needed him on the ML roster first 6 weeks of season while the team dealt with injuries. He’s grateful of the opportunity to get some ML experience at age 21. He knows that he’s struggled and is fully on-board with going to minors for a span to work on his skills. He’s also quite confident in his talent and knows he’ll be back soon. He won’t see this as a setback.
It may be surprising to hear, but the Padres are not dedicating this year to the development of CJ Abrams. They are trying to compete, and doing so successfully.
The Padres lost their star player. They had 2 possible replacements. Neither is a proven MLB hitter. One guy starts hitting well, the other doesn’t. Who do you play? Do you sacrifice a few/several games to Abrams development or do you ride the hot hand? The Yankees and Dodgers ride the hot hand. The Pirates and Orioles don’t. Which would you rather be?
About damn time
Another overhyped prospect
Yeah, at 21 years old this guy is done. Might as well release him.
He’s played all of 76 games in the minors. He was forced up because of the injury to Tatis. He will be a stud but he needs regular playing time in the minors to develop.
Definitely still to need an outfield bat, so profar can revert back to his utility role.
Article says “Triple-A San Antonio” however the Padres AAA affiliate is located in El Paso and San Antonio is their AA team.
I’m assuming he just went down to AAA because it would be kind of weird to demote him 2 levels…
Yesterday, Coach Kentera and I agreed that he should go to San Antonio. Curious to see if we were both correct… or not! Go Pads
Just curious, but what was the rationale for AA over AAA?
Main thing with him at this point in my mind is facing as close to MLB quality pitching as he can. I’d think you’d get more former MLB or “AAAA” arms in AAA and more hot prospects in AA
On the whole, you’re not wrong about seeing better quality arms at the higher level, but I thought CJ had been skipped around too much in light of the lost 2020 MiLB season and after breaking his leg last year. Give him a better foundation for growth, learning and confidence through SA and probably get the call to EP by July. Then, let him play out the year in AAA.
Actually, though it does seem logical that there’d be better arms in AAA, I don’t think that’s absolutely true. IDK if things have changed recently, but AAA used to known as a hitter’s league, while AA was considered more of a pitcher’s league.
AA generally has larger parks, and many pitchers get promoted directly from AA to the majors. If you look at a lot of stats for hitters in the minors, often their worse numbers are from their time in AA.
This is just personal opinion, but I think teams like to promote pitchers from AA, because they’d rather not have prospects lose confidence by getting hit hard at AAA. Hitters gain confidence in AAA with the smaller parks.
The AAA PCL has historically been known as a hitter’s league, mostly due to ballpark elevations and dimensions. One look at the Oklahoma City Dodgers roster might make us reassess that prefabricated notion. Their current pitching staff is arguably better then some Major League teams. I would have sent CJ to AA for a firm foundation for his game and then once he’s got his feet under him then promote him to the PCL. Regardless, it’s all a moot point now and I’m definitely not in charge. I have trust in the system.
Part of this is due to minor league signings. Guys like Kevin pillar go ahead and murder the AAA pitchers and turn it into a hitters league.
Yes, it’s Triple-A, nice catch — updated in the article. Not sure where I got San Antonio in my head — I was just there and noted it’s odd that they have a AA rather than AAA team
I believe it is AAA El Paso and not AA San Antonio.
Correct, changed in the article. Just a brain slip on my part.
The stupidity and ignorance of the posts on this forum never cease to amaze me. I think some of you should hunker down and focus on a good wholesome education or at the very least get a job………(I know as if that would ever happen right).
What if we’re paid to post?
If you are employed by and are paid for your services by the original owner of this or any other website, then sure, that counts. Does this apply to you?
So if they’re paid by someone that doesn’t own a website, it doesn’t count?
Voit and Myers = no home runs
make that 2
who’s next for DFA Peller, Profar, Grishan,
I am a Padres fan:
A) I notice that the Padres are going with 12 hitters and 14 pitchers. Is his common across MLB? I get that with the DH, there is less of a need for guys on the bench, but 12 guys seems kind of low. That said, even with a short bench, people felt like Abrams was underplayed. During the 1980s, with 15 hitters on teams, it seems like AL teams would probably have a lot of guys just rotting on the bench. Ripken’s streak seems particularly rare since there would presumably be a lot of guys on the Baltimore bench who needed playing time, or could just rot on the bench.
B) The article says that Abrams is expected to eventually supplant Tatis at shortstop. But when? Abrams is 21 years old, but Tatis is only 23. I think that Abrams is already currently better than Tatis defensively, but Tatis is the superstar and he strongly prefers SS over the outfield. There is also the issue with Kim, who is doing well as the starting SS, but I guess will move to the bench when Tatis comes back next month.
I think that Tatis moving to the OF next month makes things a lot easier, but will not happen.
Perhaps next year, the ideal lineup will be:
C: Luis Campusano/Jorge Alfaro
1b: Eric Hosmer
DH: Cronenworth (but really moving around the infield with other guys also at DH)
OF: Abrams, Profar, Grisham, Robert Hassell III
This isn’t really “ideal,” and isn’t very imaginative on my part.
Cap & Crunch
Tatis is going to Rf and he’s gonna be damn good at it in quick order
I could see a gold glove for him out there , (very valued defensive position today as well). Remember Mookie was a 2b/ss all the way up thru the system
Tatis would be a monster in RF with his cannon
@ truthlemonade. I don’t really get why you’re putting Crone in a utility role and Kim at 2B. I would rate Crone a better defender and don’t see Kim leapfrogging him as a hitter.
I guess my main point is that everyone on that list will get enough playing time.
Seeing that both Cronenworth and Kim are better defenders, they might be better with Tatis at DH. And that way he could better avoid getting injured again.
I think that Tatis would truly hate being the DH.
Totally agree. My comment was tongue in cheek. I think he wouldn’t like being moved to the OF, let alone DH. But as I said earlier, if it were my decision, I’d want a better defender at SS.
Machado is going to opt out is my bet
If Manny opts out, which wouldn’t surprise me, then would the Pads consider making a legitimate run at Judge? Obviously, he is going to want near $300M, so “legitimate run” puts them in the $270-$300M conversation for his services.
Machado’s opt out isn’t until one year after Judge becomes a free agent. And I think they’d rather just give Machado (who believe it or not is younger than Judge) a raise.
Truthlemonade. Why don’t you think there’s a chance to put Tatis in the Outfield, especially given Myers looming departure next season? I’m not saying you are wrong, I’m just curious as to why you think he will for sure take over at SS. In theory I see why you would say this, but ya.
I get the feeling that the team is going to cater to Tatis’ preference for SS this year. Or maybe not. Maybe they will say, “Your bad choices made you miss so much of 2022, we are going to need you to get with the program and play OF.”
And for next year, maybe the team really tells Tatis:
“You need to play OF moving forward. Kim emerged in your absence, and while not nearly as good as a hitter, is better than you defensively at SS.”
If Abrams takes a step forward next year, perhaps he can be the starting 2b. Or SS with Kim at 2b. Cronenworth might get traded, or he can move around the infield with him and others playing DH.
Good thoughts on this Truthlemonade. I think you may be right.
Has Tatis been injured while playing SS? Honest question that I don’t know the answer to. I’m not sure putting him closer to two walls makes it less risky.
Tatis’ injuries haven’t been due specifically to playing SS, but there’s a significant history: hamstring, back, oblique, and shoulder. His current injury, a broken wrist, is non-baseball related.
But, suggesting that playing the OF would be more risky is a bit off. The SS position has many more chances, and opportunities for injury, every game than any of the OF positions.
Most injuries playing the OF are from diving for balls, or collisions with other fielders, I can’t remember the last time a guy went on the IL from running into a wall. Regardless, playing the OF has much less injury risk than playing the IF.
He strained his hamstring doing a crazy stretch to catch a ball on second base in 2019.
On the field he’s been injured from swinging, sliding into a base, catching a ball, and from general usage. He plays the game really hard, it can happen anywhere
It still remains that the OF is less risky for injury.
Wil Myers might disagree.
Dude should’ve never been moved off first and Hosmer should’ve never have been signed.
First is the least risky for injury
Question. Why are all the Hosmer haters so quiet after all the crap talking? He is literally # 1 in ALL OF MLB, in all offensive categories with the bat and has shown a hot glove as well. While things can “simmer” later in the season, its nice to not hear the loud annoying Hozzie hating comments anymore from hoards of clueless haters. (Go figure).
Right here. Let’s see Hosmer sustain this for a full 162 games.
Perhaps. But perhaps- the “Trade Hosmer for a box of chocolate” comments were a bit on the dramatic side, eh bud?
If someone really were to offer a box of chocolate for Hosmer you take it
Well I prefer Godiva myself, so there’s that.
The “Trade Hosmer for a box of chocolate” is more about the horrible contract, than him being a horrible player. Not saying saying he’s a horrible player, just that he was horribly overpaid for his skills. He’d be a nice player for about $8-$10M per, maybe even $12M
That said, his contract is becoming less horrible after this season, because it was so heavily front-loaded. But then the reason for wanting to move him is significantly reduced as well, although the AAV hit remains the same.
His contract isn’t bad because it’s dropping by $7m per. His contract is bad because he sucks.
Is this sarcasm? He’s not first in: avg, hr, obp, slg, woba or wRC+ and those are just the ones I checked. That .395 babip isn’t gonna last.
You Can Put It In The Books
He’ll be hitting .275 by July 1
The article states: “The long-term expectation in San Diego likely remains that Abrams will ultimately dislodge Fernando Tatis Jr. from shortstop,”
Is this an opinion by mlbtr, a common narrative of those outside of SD? Is this an actual expectation of the Padres?
I’ve not come across any direct information from the Padres that this is a given. And most Padre fans I know don’t “expect” Tatis will become an OF. In fact, all that I’ve heard from the team is that Tatis is the long-term SS, and that Abrams might eventually play 2B or OF because Tatis is the SS. Tatis himself has quite firmly stated that he is a SS.
Abrams filled in as a utility guy. Kim is their termporary SS. Both those guys vocalized in interviews that their time at SS would end when Tatis returned. But maybe mlbtr knows more?.
Tatis is not a particularly good defender. Over his career has -6 OAA. Fangraphs has him at -9 DRS. I don’t know how good a defender Abrams is, but if I were the Padres, I’d want a better defender at such a key position.
Tatis’ problem hasn’t been the glove or the range; in fact, those have been superlative. His issue has been making wild and/or untimely throws to first base. He needs to learn that not every ball you can get to will be an out. He’s learning on the fly and whomever (Tatis, CJ, Ha-Seong) plays SS will be fine long-term. I think CJ gets more OF play in the Minors this year; Ha-Seong is ticketed for spot starts around the middle IF and 3B once Tatis is back. Crone is more of the right-side of the IF guy, but he plays a great SS as well. My subjective take is however it shakes out, then it will be fine because these guys are all so good. My probables:
Move Grish to RF, Myers to LF is he’s still a Pad in ’23.
Sorry I can’t completely buy that his poor defensive numbers are all, or mostly, from throwing errors. I’m not a big fan of zone stats, but if what you said was true, at least they would reflect, good glove/range with better numbers, but they don’t.
I would too. he’s not a good defender and no, it’s not just his throws. It’s possible he can learn to be a better short stop, but for now they have better options.
Tatis gets to balls… In the OF, he will hit walls. He’s doomed if he goes out. 2B might be a good move, maybe?
If he hits walls he’s an idiot. It’s a lot easier to avoid running into walls, than it is to avoid a runner trying to break up the DP at 2B. The OF offers fewer opportunities for injury.
Look, I’m not a Padre fan, but I would mind them winning a WS much less than some other teams (like the Dodgers). I’m just trying to be objective about Tatis. It doesn’t bother me at all if he stays at SS, but I wouldn’t keep him there.
*FRESNO FIRE FROGS
Fingers crossed Melvin is going to be ok
It’ll be nice to see Kim get a legitimate shot here. Hasn’t really gotten to show what he can do with regular playing time.
I should be the GM
Couldn’t be any worse than Trader Jack Preller. lol
I think I’ll always have a little soft place in my heart for Trayce Thompson as a White Sox fan.
I really wish bunting for hits was still a thing..I remember Brett Butler giving teams fits growing up by laying down perfect bunts, stealing second, then scoring on a single..then the next ab, he’d slap a looper over the drawn in 3B head, and have a double..That’s the player I think Abrams needs to be.
@tippin. I think you’re right on in that Abrams would benefit from modelling himself a bit more after a Butler type player (rather than Tatis). He’s muscled up this year and launches 430 ft bombs in batting practice, and the power he’s suddenly grown into might be affecting his hitting approach. With his elite speed and very good bat control (he rarely struck in minors), it’s feasible he’ll put up years with OBP of .360+ with 35 steals and 15 HRs. At this point it’s clear he needs to learn to hit ML breaking balls before they hand him a starting position on ML roster, and that takes daily ABs that he wasn’t getting on Pads.
Thompson was really hitting well, can’t believe he was sent packing.
Voit better turn it on or he is next.
1 for 14 with 7 punchies is hitting well?
The real headline here is that Voit is NOT on the IL. That in itself is so remarkable the Padres need to hustle it up and make tonight Luke Voit bobble head night. Knowing Voit he’ll probably step on one, roll his ankle, and hit the IL again until after the ASB.
Thompson was an easy out
Next to be optioned, Gore. Which kind of sucks because he’s better than Martinez. But I hope they don’t send him to El Paso where ERA’s jump two-fold and pitchers get psycho