Victor Acosta works double-time as shortstop and umpire in Peoria. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

All the full-season clubs take most Mondays off, but the good news is that the Arizona Complex League season is upon us! Tonight was the first game for the ACL Padres and they came up short. If you want to learn more about the team, check out the excellent preview from David Jay. For now, the complex league team features mostly international players making their stateside debuts. That will change in mid-July after the draft when the Padres should add 15-20 players to their system. For now, let’s dive in.

ACL Royals 4, ACL Padres 2 (7 innings)

Key Statistics: SS Victor Acosta, 1-for-3, R; Colton Bender, 1-for-3, 2B; DH Ruben Salinas, 2-for-3, 2 RBI; RHP Henry Baez (L, 0-1) 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 K; LHP Javier Chacon, 3.2 IP, H, 5 K.

Prospect Watch: One of my favorite things when looking at the ACL is the temperature at first pitch. Tonight it was a brisk 103 at 6pm. … The two teams played a seven-inning affair. As of now, the ACL Padres only have 15 active pitchers (plus the converting Justin Lopez) on the roster so it wouldn’t be surprising to see shorter games at times. … Outfielder Joshua Mears is with the ACL Padres for now, as he makes his way back from being placed on the development list. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. … Shortstop Victor Acosta made his stateside debut and went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Acosta, who turns 18 on June 10, played 56 games for the DSL Padres last season, hitting .285/.431/.484. … Catcher Colton Bender went 1-for-3 with a double Monday night. Bender, 23, was the Padres’ 10th-rounder last season. The catcher is vying for the title of the best Quinnipiac alumnus in the Padres’ system. Right now, the title belongs to Chihuahuas infielder Matthew Batten. Bender played in 24 games in his first pro season, most of which came with Lake Elsinore. … Ruben Salinas had a pair of hits and drove in the only two runs for the Padres. The 19-year-old signed with the Padres in November of 2019 for $800,000. The plan initially was to develop Salinas as a two-way player but he has yet to take the mound. In fact, Monday’s outing was just the third professional game of his career. He played in just a pair of ACL affairs before injury shut him down last year. … After a rough outing from starter Henry Baez, lefty Javier Chacon came in and pitched well. Chacon, 19, allowed just one hit to go with five strikeouts over 3.2 innings. The Cuban-born lefty made a single outing last year in the ACL and achieved the Dennis Tankersley line: an infinity ERA. He allowed six runs in a start without recording an out. Chacon signed with the Padres in January of 2021.

Roster Moves: Even with the day off, the Missions made several roster moves thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak in the organization. Here is a breakdown of all the moves:

Placed on the COVID list: RHP Carlos Belen, OF Jorge Ona, OF Tirso Ornelas, INF Connor Kaiser, C/INF Yorman Rodriguez, LHP Osvaldo Hernandez.

The Missions will be down a total of six players when they begin a series with Corpus Christi on Tuesday. The Missions had a thin bench already so losing four position players will likely result in more moves to come. The San Antonio roster as this is published includes just eight position players.

Transferred to El Paso: LHP Adrian Morejon

Activated: RHP Michel Baez

The Padres announced a pair of moves that impacted the Missions’ roster. LHP Adrian Morejon and RHP Michel Baez were activated from the 60-day injured list. Morejon will go up to El Paso and Michel Baez will stay with San Antonio.

Acquired from the Cleveland Guardians: The Missions announced that the Padres have acquired infielder Ike Freeman via trade with Cleveland. The Padres will likely send cash back to Cleveland but that hasn’t been confirmed as of now.

Freeman, 23, was drafted by the Guardians in the 14th-round of the 2019 draft. He played collegiality at the University of North Carolina. The former Tar Heel played in 24 games this season for the Guardians organization – 13 at Triple-A Columbus and 11 at Double-A Akron. Between the two stops, Freeman was hitting .181/.344/.361. Freeman hasn’t hit much in his pro career, as evidenced by his .566 career OPS. For now, he should get regular playing time with the Missions.

Assigned to the Missions: RHP Luis Madrazo and infielder Rafael Fermin. Madrazo, 24, signed with the Padres as international free agent out of Cuba in January. He has yet to make his professional debut. Fermin, 20, originally signed back in 2019 and logged 14 games in the desert last summer.

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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