The Padres made the Joaquin Benoit signing official yesterday. In a corresponding move, they also designated pitcher Adys Portillo for assignment. Although we’ve known for a while that Benoit was signed, the Padres took their time in making it official following the physical. Perhaps, the front office was trying to give Portillo a little more time to prove himself. He played in two separate Winter Leagues, the Arizona Fall League and the Venezuelan Winter League this year, never seeming to get it together. In the two leagues combined, Portillo was 2-2 with a 6.98 ERA, 18 K’s and 17 BB’s. Most likely the Padres will not find a trade partner to take Portillo. He is only 22 so, let’s hope he catches on with a team that can help him figure some things out.
When Bernie D’Amato and I were discussing our 2014 Organizational Depth Charts (coming soon!), Cory Luebke was one of the guys we had some questions about. Starting pitchers and Relievers were a little hard to figure out. When a minor league pitcher comes up, he is often slotted into the bullpen. Additionally, teams aren’t very quick to move a starter back to the bullpen. Would Luebke be considered a Starter because of his past or would he have to work his way up again? Luebke was great as a starter and would probably like to end up back there. But, a team in need of a left-handed reliever and a left hander returning from injury could be a match made in heaven. Apparently Josh Byrnes has the same idea. Josh Byrnes is still in search of a LOOGY so, he may want to check out my article highlighting several candidates. Whether Luebke ends up in the bullpen or starting, his (and everyone else’s) health is really what matters.