Witasick released; three others outrighted

The San Diego Padres today released right-handed pitcher Jay Witasick and outrighted outfielder Kerry Robinson and right-handed pitchers Steve Watkins and Ricky Stone to Triple-A Portland.

Jay Witasick, 32, appeared in 44 games out of the bullpen in 2004, going 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA. He walked 26 and struck out 57 while holding opponents to a .244 average against. Signed as a free agent December 24, 2002, Witasick missed 30 games with a left oblique strain from August 16-September 17.

Kerry Robinson, 30, batted .293 (27-for-92) with four doubles, five RBI and a team-leading 11 stolen bases in 80 games last season. He was originally outrighted to Portland on July 4, hitting .297 (49-for-165) with two home runs, 19 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 41 games. Robinson was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Brian Hunter on March 29.

Steve Watkins, 26, was 0-0 with a 6.28 ERA (10 ER/14.1 IP) in 11 relief appearances for the Padres last season. In 32 games (16 starts) between Portland and Double-A Mobile, he posted a 9-6 record and a 3.37 ERA (43 ER/115.0 IP). Watkins was originally selected by the Padres in the 16th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Ricky Stone, 29, made 43 relief appearances for the Padres in 2004, going 1-1 with a 6.89 ERA. He began the season with the Houston Astros, posting a 1-1 record and a 5.68 ERA (12 ER/19.0 IP) in 16 games before being claimed off waivers by San Diego on June 18.

With today's moves, San Diego's 40-man roster is now at 36.

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