Padres seem to be messing with top prospect's development after odd decisions

What is going here?
San Diego Padres prospect Graham Pauley
San Diego Padres prospect Graham Pauley / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

There's generally two schools of thought when it comes to developing prospects. Conservative general managers tend to let their prospects spend a prolonged amount of time in the minor leagues, making sure that said prospect gets at least 200-plus plate appearances at each minor-league stop along the way before making it to The Show.

The other line of thinking is more of a sink or swim mentality. Aggressive GMs may deem a prospect major league-ready without setting foot on a Triple-A diamond. San Diego Padres fans saw that approach this past spring with Jackson Merrill, and it seems to have worked out quite well so far.

But the Padres' approach with Graham Pauley seems disjointed and odd. After a rough start to his major league career, the Friars deemed it necessary for Pauley to get everyday reps down on the farm and optioned him to Triple-A. Pauley was then recalled and moved into the Padres starting lineup on Saturday after hitting .290/.436/.677 in nine games at Triple-A El Paso.

Padres seem to be messing with Graham Pauley's development

Curiously, however, manager Mike Shildt chose to go with Tyler Wade at third base on Sunday. A defensive substitution was made later during the game, and Eguy Roasrio got the nod at the hot corner over Pauley. If the Padres are going to recall Pauley to the major leagues, shouldn't he be in the everyday lineup?

The idea behind sending Pauley to El Paso was sound. He was hitting just .133 with eight strikeouts through the Padres first seven games. Seeing an opportunity to upgrade the roster, the Padres made the decision to send Pauley back to the minors and platooned both Wade and Rosario at third base.

If that's the direction Shildt is going to take, even with Pauley on the active roster, why not send him back to Triple-A where he can continue to get everyday at-bats with the Chihuahuas? This is a bizarre turn of events for a team that generally has a better handle on their prospect development.

Hopefully Pauley will be back in the Padres starting lineup on Monday when the Colorado Rockies come to town. If Pauley is going to be on the 26-man roster, he needs to be in the lineup every day. Otherwise, the Friars need to send him back to El Paso ... unless there's another roster move coming that the fans aren't aware of.

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