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05/15/09 10:40 PM ET
Struggling Padres shake up roster
Towers makes flurry of moves, hints more may come
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- A Padres team that has lost 20 of its last 24 games got a new look on Friday as several fresh faces stepped through the home clubhouse doors at PETCO Park. According to Padres general manager Kevin Towers, there could be more changes on the way if the Padres continue to struggle. "If this doesn't get it done," Towers said, "we're going to change the pieces." As it stands, the Padres brought in two new relief pitchers and a shortstop before the start of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres promoted Greg Burke and Joe Thatcher from Triple-A Portland on Friday and designated reliever Duaner Sanchez for assignment and optioned another reliever, Edwin Moreno, to Portland. The Padres also claimed shortstop Josh Wilson from the Arizona Diamondbacks the same day that they placed shortstop Luis Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle. Cha Seung Baek was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day DL in order to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Wilson. Sanchez, signed late in Spring Training after being released by the Mets, didn't live up to his anticipated role as an eighth-inning specialist, posting a 9.00 ERA in 11 games. He allowed four runs in Thursday's 11-3 loss to the Cubs. Moreno, a rookie, was 1-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 16 games this season and never showed the command he did in Spring Training. Moreno walked 13 batters in 17 1/3 innings. Burke, who impressed the Padres during Spring Training with a 3.65 ERA, was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 games with Portland. Thatcher, who has stints with the team in 2007 and last season, was 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in 14 games for the Beavers. "The performance of those two pitchers warranted changed with those two guys," San Diego manager Bud Black said. Wilson played in 11 games for Arizona this season. He was placed on waivers this week when Stephen Drew came off the disabled list. Wilson was hitting .231 in 26 at-bats with two RBIs. He also played in 15 games for Triple-A Reno, hitting .260. "He has always been a guy on our radar. We felt he was better than what we had [in the Minor Leagues]," said Towers, who said he tried to sign Wilson as a six-year free agent in the past. "He's fundamentally sound, throws well, a gap hitter and puts the ball in play." Towers hinted that there could be more changes in the works, potentially involving two players in Portland -- outfielder Will Venable and first baseman Kyle Blanks -- down the road. Blanks played the outfield for the first time last weekend and will see more time there in coming weeks. "There will be more changes, more young guys. By the end of the year, I see both of those guys [Venable and Blanks] in the outfield," Towers said. Until then, the Padres will, according to Towers, continue to look for the right mix of players to help them out of a slump that has seen a team that was once 9-3 go 4-20 the last three-plus weeks. "The only way fans are going to have hope is if the product starts to perform," Towers said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.