At the end of last year, the Padres acquired righty reliever Joaquin Benoit to pad the bullpen. They gave the free agent a two-year, $15.5 million contract with an option for 2016.
In order to make room for Benoit, the Padres had to DFA 22-year-old right-hander Adys Portillo. After an injury-plagued 2013 season and some mediocre stats in the Arizona Fall League and Venezuelan Winter league this offseason, he was placed on waivers to open up space for Benoit on the 40-man roster. Thankfully Portillo cleared waivers and the Padres have outrighted him to Double-A San Antonio, a level above where he spent his 2013 season.
He only made three appearances in 2013, all starts, for Single-A Fort Wayne. He pitched a total of 9 1/3 innings and posted a 4.82 ERA while allowing hitters to bat .350 against him. His work in the offseason wasn't too impressive either. He posted an 8.74 ERA, issuing a disconcerting 13 walks against nine strikeouts, in 11 1/3 innings in the AFL. His walk-to-strikeout ratio has been much better (four walks to nine strikeouts) in the VWL, where he has a 4.50 ERA in eight innings, but he still has a lot of work to do to get back to his 2012 form, which impressed the Padres enough to add him to the 40-man roster that season.
Health will be key for Portillo this year as he tries to get back on track and live up to the potential the Padres once saw in him. He's a hard thrower and could at least be an important asset to the bullpen if he can avoid injury.