Isn’t it time for the Padres to Recall Luis Urias?

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Credit: USA Today Sports

Is it time for the San Diego Padres to promote Luis Urias from the minor leagues? The fan base is demanding it, but the Padres have remained patient with his potential promotion. Will we see Urias soon?

Believe me…I get it. The 2018 San Diego Padres are frustrating to watch. For periods of time they play fast-paced, aggressive baseball that is actually a joy to witness. Then comes the moments where the game gets entirely too fast for the squad of young players. The result is a less than savory effort for the starved San Diego Padre fan base. It makes you not even want to eat, quite frankly.

If not for the promise of the future and the boatloads of prospects that are developing, most fans would have checked out long ago on this franchise. There certainly is promise of a better time. The hope is real, as the Padres currently have nine players ranked in the top 100 prospects overall. And there is more to come after this particular grouping. I know prospects are not a given, but with the amount of talent the Padres have accumulated, they will strike it rich with some of them. There will be better times.

In recent weeks, the team has rotated second basemen despite the fact one of their best prospects is performing well at the Triple-A level. Luis Urias is now 21 years old and very close to being major league ready. Some would argue that he is ready now for game action at Petco Park. Those same people are frankly up in arms about why he continues to rack up minor league at-bats while the club rotates Cory Spangenberg, Jose Pirela, and Carlos Asuaje at a position that is not theirs for the long run.

The fan base has longed to see Urias in a Padre uniform, as he provides plus on-base skills to a team with issues reaching first base. The Padres will once again be last in OBP in all of major league baseball. They need to fix that. Urias will go a long way towards improving that mindset on a club that frankly cannot get on base at a consistent clip. Andy Green has mentioned this problem. He is surely itching to get Urias into the top of his lineup card each and every day.

Are the Padres trolling the fan base with this non-promotion? Or is the fan base just way too eager at this point for a player who is still developing? Perhaps it is a little bit of both.

Let us delve into the argument and explore the issue:

Call him up already!

With a slash line of .295/.398/.448 and a .845 OPS, Urias is putting up decent numbers in El Paso. These numbers are not stellar for the PCL, but you have to factor that he is the youngest player in the whole league. It took Urias a little bit to adjust to Triple-A pitching. After hitting .244 in the month of July, he has taken off with the bat. In August, he has a recorded batting line of .436/.489/.692 with an incredible 1.181 OPS. The adjustments have been made by the Mexican infielder, and that bodes well to his future at the major league level.

There is already youth on the team presently. Luis Urias and his inevitable growing pains will be digested much easier on a youthful squad than a team expected to perform. There is no expectation of winning presently in San Diego, so he would be allowed to grow in the sport at his own pace. Urias has always shown great maturity on the baseball diamond and he will surely not struggle with the mental aspect of the sport.

Credit: AP Photo

He is close, but still not ready.

The strikeouts are a bit concerning for him this season. That seems to be the first thing people point out when assessing his season. He has struck out 108 times in 440 at bats. The number itself is not troubling, but for a player who never struck out more than 65 times in a year, there are some slight concerns. In reality, his strikeout percentage has climbed the last three years. He still has some growing to do, but he is close.

Urias is 21 and has always played at an advanced level. Every pitcher he has faced this year, except for three, has been older than him. He may require just a little bit more seasoning to be able to contribute right away. At this point, the Padres probably do not want to shuttle Urias back and forth between San Diego and El Paso. They want to be sure he is ready when recalled. I think this is the final determining factor. When Luis Urias is promoted to the bigs, he shouldn’t be sent down again.

The verdict:

There is no question that Luis Urias is close. Will the team recall him or leave him in El Paso to experience a playoff run? The team has gone this far in showing great patience. It is hard to believe they will stray from that philosophy so late in the 2018 season. Expect Urias to remain in El Paso through their playoff run. The Padres are trying to evaluate players currently at the major league level. They are doing this while at the same time giving certain players a chance to build their value for possible trades in the offseason.

At 21, Luis Urias has plenty of time. The service time issue may also be a factor when it comes down to it. The Padres could choose to keep Urias in Triple-A for another month or so to earn that extra year of service time in the long run. The successful run for this team should occur in the future, and jeopardizing that now for a little gratification is not conducive to the overall goal of this franchise. In other words- a little pain now will be worth it in the end. Luis Urias will be here soon. The wait will be worth it. Trust me.

8 thoughts on “Isn’t it time for the Padres to Recall Luis Urias?

  1. Oh my God, if I see one more article about Urias coming up right now…He’s staying in EP until their season is over…period. There is no benefit for him to be in SD prior to that. Let him fight for the championship that he’s been playing for all year. He’ll be up soon enough.

  2. Good article, and as you wrote, on a topic in the minds of fans. I don’t think there is anything wrong with promoting Urias during September roster expansions and letting him play 2b. The club after all did not pursue the extra year of control strategy with Margot, so why here? One thing a GM does need to be concerned with is the energy around the club. The fan base is dispirited, the club’s play mostly listless. Bringing up a group of young players on Sep.1 is a way to inject a bit of oomph into a torpid year.

  3. Nice article by Mr. Clark but I disagree. Just because Urias is considered a “can’t miss player;” and a great, young talent, does not mean he or anyone automatically gets called up and is given the second base or shortstop position. Now, if he was batting somewhere in the low to mid .300’s, making good contact and playing great defense, it would be warranted. Being that I haven’t seen him play yet, all I or any Padres fan can do is look at the numbers. To me, they’re not eye popping – yet.

    I also don’t agree about Cory Spangenberg and how he has no future with the Padres. Has Cory honestly been given a real chance to be the second baseman? NO. No matter how well he does when he plays on a regular basis, the former #1 draft pick is doomed to lose his job because he was drafted by someone else. That said, I have been very vocal about a number of players on the roster, who in my eyes, have NOT been given an honest chance to show what they can do. We’ve all seen it! The current GM, AJ Preller, this season, has tried his best to bury anyone he did not draft or acquire in favor of players he selected. Meaning, if your name is Hedges, Jankowski, Renfroe and Spangenberg, it’s going to be extra hard for you to stay on the team. I have already said my piece before about Travis Jankowski and why he – not Margot, belongs in CF full-time. But no matter, Manny Margot “supposedly has more upside” and he is the future instead of a wonderful player and leader like Travis is today. The same with Hunter Renfroe. We know Preller wants someone else out there! But someone forgot to give Hunter the memo. Unless he is traded, he plans on KEEPING a starting job in the outfield. How about Austin Hedges, when Preller traded for Mejia last month? Personally, it looks like that trade lit a fire under Hedges. I’m glad to see it.

    On AJ Preller, there seems to be TWO camps; one camp are his disciples, the people who think that just because he is the sitting GM, that he can do no wrong. Well, a number of us would disagree and be in the other camp. We have seen his trades and the way he judges players, the way he plays “musical chairs” with so many players in the lineup and then out – except a couple of his favorites. How can any player succeed and impress under those rules and terms? Thankfully, I believe Andy Green really does know “who” can play and if he had a free hand – something I don’t believe he has, he might favor some of the players from the old regime. But because Green does answer to AJ Preller, we are still playing that revolving door game. The best questions should be asked of Fowler and Seidler; are THEY happy the way the team is going? Do THEY think Preller is the guy to lead them to the promised land? Many of us would love to see Preller fired after the season but we aren’t the owners. So I guess we stay tuned?????

    1. First of all we can’t take anything you say seriously if you think spangy should be our long term 2nd basemen. Solid players but has a utility guy writin all over him. Second your telling me the 4 players you listed who aren’t getting any love from peller where either hurt or flat out not hitting. Not to mention this article is about a player not acquired by peller ( your theory is flawed) Lastly, I’m shocked you want the GM fired from a team who has one of the best farms in its history and in baseball. Please save this comment thread 3 yrs from now when Gary is preaching something different

    2. 1) Urias is hitting .295. So you would bring him up if his BA was 5 points higher?
      2) Spangenberg has had his chances. He’s 27, which is passed the sell by date for a prospect, and has had 1100 ABs. His career numbers: .260/.318/.398. His 2018 numbers: .240/.296/.388. These are not numbers that scream regular to me. More suggestive of a utility player. I like this guy, plays hard, willing to play anywhere, good speed, some pop. But not all first rounders become stars.
      3) Hedges, Jankowski, Renfroe, Spangenberg. Now you’re just being silly. These guys have all received tons of playing time. Hedges has barely hit, Jankowski is 4th OF type of player, Renfroe was demoted last year for being hard to coach, and Spangenberg is lucky to be on the 40 man roster. If what you said was true all would be gone or in El Paso.

    3. Gary – you bring up some great points about the Padres and Preller. One is that they don’t let players develop. A guy can have 1100 AB over 5 seasons of uneven playing time. That is not helpful to the development of the player. Jankowski has shined at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. So why was Margot picked to be leadoff if he couldn’t do the job? Once Jankowski started to show, he should have been given the leadoff spot for the rest of the year (though i do like the Jankowski / Galvis platoon.) And why, when Margot was having success hitting in the 7 spot, was he jerked all over the lineup? Renfroe is nothing but power at the plate, which the Pads sorely need, yet he’s in and out of the lineup and badmouthed, even though every other team asks about him for trade. They obviously see more than the Padres. He will thrive as a Cardinal.
      I’m in your camp on Preller. He’s done some good things, with an unlimited budget. He also thrown away millions, which the owners obviously have to fritter away. Having heard the excuses about “small market teams” for years and seen the creativity of previous GMs, especially the great Kevin Towers, the Padres should be way ahead of where we are now, results wise.

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