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Padres option No. 3 prospect Urias

Left-hander Erlin recalled; Margot returns from paternity list
@AJCassavell
April 21, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- In the Padres' eyes, top second-base prospect Luis Urías needed regular at-bats to break out of his early-season funk. On Sunday, they decided that Triple-A El Paso would be the best place for those at-bats. Urias was optioned on Sunday morning, along with right-handed reliever Phil Maton.

SAN DIEGO -- In the Padres' eyes, top second-base prospect Luis Urías needed regular at-bats to break out of his early-season funk. On Sunday, they decided that Triple-A El Paso would be the best place for those at-bats.

Urias was optioned on Sunday morning, along with right-handed reliever Phil Maton. Left-hander Robbie Erlin was recalled, while center fielder Manuel Margot returned from the paternity list.

Urias was promoted two weeks ago, and he received 29 plate appearances in which he went 2-for-24 with four walks and 11 strikeouts. On the heels of a Spring Training in which he batted .224, Urias hasn’t been himself at the plate.

"We just looked at where he was right now, and we felt like he was going to profit more from opportunity there," Padres manager Andy Green said. "The time will come when the reps are consistent here. ... We think this is the best thing for him right now."

Urias' demotion leaves Ian Kinsler in line to assume the role of regular second baseman once again. Kinsler, too, has struggled this season, with a .515 OPS. Green added that he intends to give utility man Greg Garcia a few starts at second. Garcia is a left-handed hitter with favorable splits against righties, and the Padres have struggled against right-handed pitching.

As for Urias, he's coming off a left hamstring injury that sidelined him late last season and flared up again during the offseason. He's fully recovered from that ailment, but Green noted that its effects might be lingering.

"Did that impact timing coming into Spring Training? Yeah, I'm sure," Green said. "This is a guy that wanted to play some winter ball, intended to go and work through some things. He wasn't able to do anything because of the hamstring. That's behind him now. He's fine. But sometimes it takes time to bounce back."

Sometimes young players struggle. Urias is only 21, and the Padres still feel very strongly that he’s their second baseman of the future.

"We want to see him do some things, and when he does those things, we know he's going to be successful up here,” Green said. “What he's done his entire life all the way through [the Minors] is put balls in play consistently, rarely swing through pitches, hit balls hard all over the ballpark. That's who he is. That's what we want to see consistently.

"The time will come when Luis Urias is a huge part of what we do. He'll show us when that is."

Petco Park is first sensory-inclusive park on West Coast

The Padres have partnered with KultureCity to make Petco Park the first sensory-inclusive MLB ballpark on the West Coast.

KultureCity's mission statement is "rethinking accessibility to create acceptance and inclusion." Petco Park's staff is now fully trained to assist all guests with developmental disorders like autism, and sensory bags will be available at guest service locations for fans in need of them.

To mark the occasion, and as part of World Autism Month, Daniel Platzman, the drummer for Imagine Dragons, threw out the first pitch on Saturday night. Platzman is on the board of directors for KultureCity.

"KultureCity is all about making everything inclusive for everyone, no matter what their sensory challenges," Platzman said. "Now that Petco Park can say the entire staff is certified and trained [in] what to do in the event of a sensory-overload situation, everyone's going to be in good hands."

Umpires host UMPS CARE auction

Major League Baseball's umpires have offered up more than 400 items for charity, in the 11th annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction, which runs through April 29.

The items up for bid include signed balls, bats, jerseys and a number of unique MLB experiences. You can check out the full list here.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.