Outfielder Danny Payne, 24, was sent from High-A Lake Elsinore to Low-A Fort Wayne yesterday, thanks to an anemic .156/.257/.219 batting line. Payne batted .245/.381/.387 with Lake Elsinore last year, so his 2010 struggles have come as something of a surprise. At his age, he’ll certainly have to immediately start hitting if he wants a shot at a big league career.
Replacing Payne on the Storm roster will be 24-year-old Bo Davis, who wasn’t hitting particularly well for the TinCaps. Davis was batting just .213/.293/.300 after a .329/.468/.473 year in short-season ball last season.
I’m surprised Wande Olabisi (.266/.329/.468) wasn’t the choice, although Davis is hitting .241 with a .333 OBP over his last 10 games, while Olabisi is batting just .164 with a .184 OBP over that span.
Davis likely got the call not for performance reasons, but mainly because a) the other outfielders weren’t hitting much better (Olabisi’s line is easily the best of them) and b) at 24, he’s not a high-priority guy, so he can be jerked around, while more important players like Everett Williams and Rymer Liriano can’t. Maybe the Padres hope Davis will catch some life in the Cal League, as well.
Neither Payne nor Davis will be with the organization this time next year unless they start hitting, so let’s hope this move ignites them in their new locations.