Padres’ Points: Johnson, Kelley, Tate

The San Diego Padres are in their first team slump of the season, dropping seven of the last eight after being swept by the Houston Astros. The Padres, who caught the Astros at the wrong time, played some fantastic baseball, but came up short. This series was also the first interleague series of the season for the Padres.

Over the last five seasons in interleague action, the Padres’ records against American League teams have been:

In three of the last five seasons, the Padres were below .500 against American League opponents. These teams do not see each other often, so it generally gives these series a different twist than a typical National League or American League match-up. While these games may not be as important as divisional games, winning 9 of 15 like the club did in 2010 is something to hope for as a fan.

San Diego Padres Matt Kemp

Source: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America

Injury Notes

  • Josh Johnson (Tommy John surgery) threw a two inning simulated game at Petco Park on Tuesday and the results were positive. He will throw a simulated game on Monday and then go from there, according to a tweet by Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego. If there are no setbacks, he could be close to getting back on the field in late May.
  • Shawn Kelley (strained left calf) threw a bullpen yesterday and will likely have rehab stints with the High-A Lake Elisnore Storm and with Triple-A El Paso, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Kelley got off to a 0-2 start, pitching 5.1 innings while giving up 6 earned runs (10.13 ERA). Barring no setbacks, a return next week to the bullpen isn’t out of the question.

Friar Moves

  • The Padres have released pitcher Nick Mutz, who was pitching at High-A Lake Elsinore. In 13 innings pitched, he had given up 6 earned runs (7.71 ERA). Over his four year minor league career, splitting time between the Angels and Padres, he had a 4.45 ERA overall.
  • Also, the club assigned outfielder Donovan Tate to High-A Lake Elsinore. This is only a significant move because he was the club’s first round pick back in 2009. He has not stayed on the field constantly enough (injuries and drug violations) to develop into a player that Padres drafted him to be. He has not played in a minor league game since 2013 due to a torn achillies. In his minor league career, he’s hit .238/.355/.320 overall.

Minor League Spotlight

  • A few weeks back, it was mentioned that infielder Casey McElroy (Double-A) was off to a hot start. He’s continued that success hitting .302/.429/.365 overall. He only has two extra base hits, but what has been more impressive is his 13 walk to 9 strikeout ratio. That is something not seen very often in today’s game, even at the minor league level. I was told by someone who watches the Double-A club often that he’s impressed to start the season. He was compared to Corey Spangenberg, with more pop in his bat, but less speed than the versatile Spangenberg. Over his minor league career, McElroy has hit .269/.356/.396 overall.

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