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Leitner, Towers next candidates for Padres HOF

McKeon's induction brings Padres' hall to 14 members
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The induction of former general manager and manager Jack McKeon into the Padres Hall of Fame brought the number of members to 14.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The induction of former general manager and manager Jack McKeon into the Padres Hall of Fame brought the number of members to 14.

Who will be No. 15?

No players are immediately in line in my thinking. And the Padres Hall of Fame desperately needs more players. Terry Kennedy might be next. Or Eric Show … or Jake Peavy. Phil Nevin, Tim Flannery and Ryan Klesko are other candidates.

But I see those as being down the road.

The two top candidates for 2018 in my mind are radio voice Ted Leitner and another former GM, Kevin Towers.

Each in my mind is a no-brainer -- along with, down the road, former manager Bruce Bochy.

Leitner has been with the Padres for 38 seasons as the lead play-by-play voice on the radio. He has to be the next from the broadcast booth to go to the Padres Hall of Fame. After he is inducted, Eduardo Ortega, the Padres Spanish voice -- and ambassador -- for three decades is next in line from the booth, followed by Mark Grant.

But Leitner is No. 1 in that line.

Towers might top my list of candidates.

The Padres honored McKeon for his 10 years of service. And yes, "Trader Jack" built the Padres 1984 National League champions.

But Towers also led the Padres to the 1998 National League title and was in control for three other division champions (1996, 2005, 2006). Plus, he spent a total of 25 years in the Padres family as a Minor League player (1982-1988), scout (1989-1991), scouting director (1993-95) and general manager (1995-2009).

Towers and manager Bochy -- another Padres Hall of Fame shoo-in if/when he retires from leading the Giants -- worked hand-in-hand for 15 seasons.

A former pitcher, Towers was best known for finding pitching where other general managers weren't looking.

NOTE WORTHY

Miguel Diaz Sunday allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. The 22-year-old Rule 5 Draft rookie has been on the disabled list since June 23 with a forearm strain and needs 17 more days on the active roster to be protected by the Padres under Rule 5 rules. Look for him to be activated in September.

Dinelson Lamet walked a career-high six batters over 4 2/3 innings in his first career start against the Nationals Sunday. He allowed three runs on three hits and six walks in 4 2/3 innings while throwing 94 pitches. But Sunday marked the 11th time in 15 starts that Lamet has allowed three or fewer runs in a start. He is 7-1 in those 11 games with a 2.67 ERA.

Travis Wood allowed one unearned run on three hits and two walks Saturday night over seven innings. It took Wood 36 pitches to get out of the first inning and he needed only 67 pitches to navigate the final six innings. Wood is 2-1 in five starts for the Padres (since being acquired from Kansas City on July 24) with a 4.18 ERA. Saturday night was the first time he went seven innings this season.

Manuel Margot was 1-for-3 with a walk Sunday, marking only the second time since Aug. 13 that he has reached base twice in the same game. Over his last seven starts, Margot has gone 4-for-26 (.154) with one double and four walks.

San Diego Padres