In a flurry of roster moves today, the Padres released another member of the John Moores-era push to acquire talent in the Dominican Republic.
Infielder Casey McElroy and right-handed pitcher Greg Reynolds will be joining the Chihuahuas, while Mike Olt moves down to San Antonio, where he'll take over as the primary starting 1B.
That move is related to the release of one-time bonus baby Duanel Jones ($900K as a 16-year-old in early 2010). The Dominican came stateside with a bang in 2011, hitting .267/.349/.500 in his Arizona League debut, but has struggled consistently since.
The one-time third baseman's career took an unusual uptick last April when he made an unprecedented move back to Fort Wayne and moved across the diamond to play first. In 41 games, he posted a .918 OPS and looked like the player he was expected to be long ago. But a midseason jump to San Antonio did not go well, and he finished his Double-A campaign with an anemic .226/.272/.323 line.
Now a month short of his 23rd birthday, Jones will finish with a .236/.298/.359 career record in the Padres system.
Those with long memories might recall that Jones originally had agreed to a $1.3M bonus with the San Francisco Giants before that deal was voided because of a drug policy violation. He was required to serve a 50 game suspension upon agreeing to his deal with the Padres.
Reynolds, now 30 years old, was the second overall pick out of Stanford by the Colorado Rockies in 2006. The massive righty got off to a great professional start, but a shoulder injury during the 2007 season - when he was already dominating Double-A less than a year after signing - derailed him. He spent 2014 in Japan and did not play last season before signing a minor league free agent deal with the Padres shortly before spring training this year.
Olt, who Baseball America tabbed as the #23 overall prospect in the game just three years ago, has struggled mightily to make consistent contact in the Majors and upper minors. MadFriars broke the news of his signing with the Padres after he was released by the White Sox in spring training this year. He had one hit and three strikeouts in five trips to the plate for El Paso so far.
Separately, Nick Monroe has joined the TinCaps pitching staff with Emmanuel Ramirez heading back to Extended. Monroe, a 21st-round pick out of UNC-Wilmington last year, logged 19.1 innings in the Fort Wayne bullpen last year, posting a 2.33 ERA with 16 strikeouts.
Ramirez, 21, was effective pitching as a starter for both short-season stops in the Padres system last year. He was tagged for four runs in the TinCaps’ season opener this year, but did throw two scoreless innings of relief on Sunday.