Johnson back, Young released, Sledge optioned

The Padres announced that utility man Eric Young has been released and outfielder Terrmel Sledge was optioned back to Triple-A Portland on Tuesday. The moves create space for newly-acquired Todd Walker and outfielder Ben Johnson, who is returning from the disabled list.

Eric Young, 39, hit just .203 in 128 at-bats for the Padres in his second season with the club. Although primarily a second baseman throughout his career, the right-hander has seen most of his playing time in left field, replacing Dave Roberts against left-handed pitching. He ranks third among active players with 465 career stolen bases.

Young is the second popular veteran released by the Padres in the last two weeks, following third baseman Vinny Castilla. Young, who serves as the judge of the clubhouse kangaroo court, is widely respected for his approach to the game.

Ben Johnson returns to the club after missing nearly a month on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old outfielder has hit .240 in 75 at-bats. He hit .275 in 13 games during his second stint with the club.

Terrmel Sledge, acquired in the offseason deal with Texas which landed Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez, was called up on July 21 to help bolster the roster while Johnson was sidelined. On the year, he has a .222 average with one home run.

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