Leone, Sledge join Padres
Leone impressed early for the Padres
Leone impressed early for the Padres

Posted Jul 21, 2006

In a move that is more likely a short-term solution than long-term answer, the Padres will activate third baseman Justin Leone and outfielder Terrmel Sledge for tonight's game in San Francisco. To clear room on the roster, right-handed pitchers Michael Thompson and Brian Sweeney will be sent back to Portland.

Two days after releasing Vinny Castilla, the Padres recalled third baseman Justin Leone from Portland. The 29-year-old was hitting .282 with 15 home runs in Triple-A, though much of his production came in the first month of the season.

Leone had a pair of home runs over the weekend when General Manager Kevin Towers and Vice President of Player Development Grady Fuson were in town to watch the Beavers play and has six extra-base hits over his last 26 at-bats.

In addition, outfielder Terrmel Sledge will join the big league club for the second time this season. The versatile fielder is hitting .328 for Portland this month with six home runs. For the year, he has walked 43 times in 75 games.

After an injury-filled spring training, Sledge hit just .160 in nine games for the club in April. He has a .261 career average in parts of three seasons in the big leagues.

As expected, Mike Thompson returns to the Beavers after taking Chris Young's spot in the Padres rotation this week. The righty previously started nine games for the Padres when Woody Williams was on the disabled list. In 58.1 innings in the big leagues this year, the 2000 draftee has a 4.32 ERA.

Also headed back to Portland is 32-year-old Brian Sweeney, who has appeared in 31 games for the Padres this season. Although his overall ERA is 3.33, he has given up eight runs over his last 9.2 innings of work, including three in yesterday's contest with the Giants.

Outfielder Ben Johnson, originally slated to begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday, reported to the Beavers for tonight's game in Las Vegas. He is expected to play five innings for the Beavers and will likely be ready to come off the disabled list on Sunday.

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OF Ben Johnson (profile)
3B Justin Leone (profile)
3B Justin Leone (profile)
OF Terrmel Sledge (profile)
P Brian Sweeney (profile)
P Mike Thompson (profile)
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