SAN DIEGO — When the Padres welcomed back two of their sluggers from the disabled list Tuesday, it was top prospect CJ Abrams who gave up on the major league roster.
Abrams, whose playing time has been running out of late, was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on Tuesday afternoon. The Padres reinstated Luke Voit (right biceps stiffness) and Wil Myers (right thumb contusion) from the disabled list. Abrams was sent down in a corresponding move, and outfielder Trayce Thompson was designated for assignment.
Abrams’ first stint in the big leagues featured memorable moments. The 21-year-old sprinter hit his first career home run in his first plate appearance at Petco Park during the team’s home opener. He also showed off some leather and showed off his elite wheels.
But overall, Abrams struggled at the plate. He slashed .182/.270/.273 in 20 games with the Padres. Lately, Ha-Seong Kim had begun to assert himself as the team’s daily shortstop. When the club reclaimed Sergio Alcantara from waivers from the D-backs on Tuesday, he gave them a versatile infielder who can also back up at second base and shortstop. That suddenly made Abrams expendable.
Manager Bob Melvin and general manager AJ Preller broke the news to Abrams on Tuesday afternoon, with this message:
“Just get more at-bats and do my thing,” Abrams said, signaling that he agrees with the plan.
“‘If you play every day, you’ll improve faster,'” Abrams added.
As for Voit and Myers, the Padres could use an offensive shakeup. They had scored just eight runs in the first five games of their stay at home. Both were in the starting lineup against the Cubs on Tuesday.
Voit struggled immensely during a five-game rehab season at Triple-A El Paso, going hitless and striking out 12 times in 18 at-bats. He rejoined the Padres on Sunday and received about 25 live at-bats on Monday morning under the watchful eye of the coaching staff. Voit evidently showed enough to warrant a return to the Major League club.
In serious need of some power, the Padres traded for Voit in March. But he struggled in his first 13 games with the club while playing through a biceps injury. Voit said he developed some bad habits as a result of the injury, and he’s hopeful they’ve been fixed.
“This team made a transaction to get me here and I want to play,” Voit said. “I’m ready to go.”
As for Myers, he hasn’t received any live at-bats since landing on the disabled list late last month. But the swelling in his thumb has completely subsided, and he’s been doing his usual pregame workouts, batting practice, running the bases and doing reps in right field.
“I feel as ready as I can be,” Myers said. “A lot depends on time. Two weeks isn’t really a big deal. If you’re talking about two months, that’s a bigger deal. … I’m looking forward to getting in the batter’s box tonight and calling it quits.” fly.”