Padres release young prospect

The San Diego Padres released a promising young pitching prospect earlier this week. A prospect gets an invite to major league camp. A hitting coach appears to be on the move (again) within the system. Making a buck from tenders.

The Padres released Australian born pitcher Riki Paewai this week.

The 20-year old right-hander, an inexpensive International signee, struggled with the command of his 90-93 MPH fastball throughout his tenure in the San Diego system. His heater has a lot of movement and the Padres attempted to clean up his mechanics, hoping it would lead to more strikes.

In 40.2 innings over the last two seasons he walked 37, including 12 in 12 frames over two leagues in 2006.

Paewai, signed for approximately $10K, reportedly missed curfew while in Eugene but that, apparently, wasn't where it ended.

"His off-field habits killed him with us," Randy Smith, the Padres director of international scouting, explained. "We released him.

"He had great stuff and hopefully he gets a wakeup call from it. Sometimes you have to set examples. Other guys look at it, ‘if you toe the line, these are the consequences.' You make an example of somebody and it gets everyone to fall in line with the program a little more."

The Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins are the frontrunners to sign Paewai.

Catcher Luke Carlin has received an invitation to big league camp and will report to Peoria on February 15.

The backstop hit .266 with a .392 on base percentage last season for Triple-A Portland. An excellent defender, Carlin is adept at calling games and throwing out basestealers. He has a patient approach at the plate and his hitting has begun to emerge, setting career-highs in average, doubles, homers, and RBIs.

Hitting coach Tom Tornicasa, originally slated to take over the reigns at Low-A Fort Wayne after spending the 2006 season with the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm, will reportedly move to Double-A San Antonio to take over the hitting coach duties.

While he lives close to Fort Wayne, he was given the option to head to San Antonio for the 2007 season and has agreed to the move.

A spot was open in Double-A after Arnie Beyeler accepted a position within the Boston Red Sox organization. Tornicasa has been in the Padres' organization since 2000 with stops at Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore.

Tornicasa will join a staff headed by manager Randy Ready. Pitching coach Glenn Abbott will return for his second year in Double-A.

Incidentally, the Los Angeles Dodgers wanted to talk to Ready about their vacant field coordinator position but the Padres denied the request, citing the timing and its proximity to the start of spring training, according to the Union Tribune. The Padres still have two coaching holes to fill and didn't want a third. They also value Ready's work and ability to tutor their young prospects.

Leo Rosales and Luis Cruz, the two newest additions to the 40-man roster were tendered the standard $30,000 for a minor leaguer without service time in their first year on the 40-man. Kevin Cameron, a Rule 5 pickup, was also tendered at $30,000. If Cameron, and any other player tendered minus Khalil Greene, makes the 25-man roster he is in line to make $380K, the rookie contract as defined by the collective bargaining agreement. Greene was tendered at $405,000.

Among the other interesting minor league tenders: Paul McAnulty ($82,400), Tim Stauffer ($80,900), Royce Ring ($98,300), Mike Thompson ($114,900), and Terrmel Sledge ($179,500).

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