Infielder Anthony Contreras has been demoted from Triple-A Portland to Double-A San Antonio with right-handed pitcher Cesar Carrillo’s activation from the disabled list.
Contreras, 26, didn’t really earn the demotion. He hit .273/.310/.385 while playing solid defense all over the field. With just 22 strikeouts in 61 games, you could count on the veteran to put the ball in play. He even chipped in a career high four homers and outpaced his 2009 Double-A line of .248/.283/.347 by a mile.
Still, he’s the victim of a numbers game for now. Contreras is lucky to even be in affiliated ball–he was released by the Padres in spring training and re-signed when middle infielders Josh Barfield, Beamer Weems, and Matt Antonelli were all injured early in April.
Portland is a far more offense-friendly environment than San Antonio, so even though he’ll be facing worse pitching, Contreras could see a decline in his numbers after the demotion. At his age, that’s going to be very difficult for him to overcome.
Carrillo comes off the DL after the 7-day minimum stay. He hasn’t had much of a season, with a 4.59 ERA and 63/42 K/BB in 100 innings, but that’s much better than the poor showings put up by Josh Geer (6.09 ERA) and Steve Garrison (8.87 ERA). I’m surprised Garrison wasn’t the one demoted; there’s a chance he could be sent down in exchange for Contreras in the coming days, but relievers Brandon Gomes and Evan Scribner also deserve callups.