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Padres option Middlebrooks; Recall Almonte

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Middlebrooks will get a chance to find his stroke in AAA while the Padres re-balance their bench bats.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have finally come to terms with the idea that the flyer they took on Will Middlebrooks this offseason has not worked out. The third baseman has clubbed 9 home runs this year, but in between doesn't get many other hits or draw bases on balls leading to a disappointing .212 batting average and a disheartening .241 on base percentage. The team has tried him at SS, but that was always just an experiment and Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista look far better in the field. More recently, Yangervis Solarte's hot hitting (that guy is streaky, isn't he?) has turned Middlebrooks into a bench bat. The club has also hinted that Yonder Alonso could get some more work at 3B when Wil Myers returns from injury and eases back into playing time at 1B. For now, the Padres will see what Middlebrooks can work on after a demotion to AAA, but the writing has to be on the wall for a potential non-tender at the end of the season.

In his place, the Padres have recalled Abraham Almonte. The switch-hitting outfielder was up earlier in the year when injuries hit the club hard and failed to impress at the plate. However, defensively he can play all three OF spots and the team is down an OF with Justin Upton day to day with an oblique injury. Even when the younger Upton is healthy the team is still carrying just 4 OFs (the two Uptons, Will Venable and Matt Kemp) and most teams carry 5. Almonte was hitting .275 for El Paso with a .361 on base percentage, 4 HRs and 11 SBs.