Padres release three minor leaguers

The San Diego Padres released three more minor leaguers this week and several more figure to come by the end of the weekend. The club let go first baseman Daryl Jones, catcher Justin Pickett and right-hander Andy Underwood.

First baseman Daryl Jones hit .266 last year with the Fort Wayne Wizards, his second season in the Midwest League. After hitting 12 homers in 2006, Jones hit just four last season and had his year cut short after 69 games due to injury.

"We hated to let DJ go," minor league field coordinator Tom Gamboa said. "There is some power there. We could not see sending him to Fort Wayne for a third year."

Justin Pickett was trying to make the transition to catcher from first base in a crowded field. Pickett hit .204 in Eugene last year and showed an all-or-nothing approach, hitting nine homers but also striking out 55 times.

"He is a dead pull guy," Gamboa said. "Making contact is a problem. We saw guys with higher ceilings."

Right-hander Andy Underwood went 6-11 with a 4.92 for Fort Wayne in 2007 and was sent down to extended spring training to work on his mechanics.

"He said everyone here had tried to help him and was very appreciative," Gamboa noted. "For whatever reason, his velocity and control was never as good as a pro as it was in college."


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