A year ago the Padres suddenly got rid of left-handed David Wells, giving him his walking papers.

This year, center fielder Jim Edmonds was the veteran with All-Star games on his resume that the Padres unceremoniously dumped. Injuries have taken a toll on Edmonds, a step slow chasing fly balls and unable to provide punch to an anemic offense. He was hitting just .178 and looked pathetic trying to chase down balls in the outfield.

The Padres let Edmonds, 37, go Friday at the same time they called up Jody Gerut from Triple-A Portland. Gerut, who can play left and center field, was hitting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 27 games in Portland. He can’t be worse than Edmonds.

One thing I don’t worry about is Padres general manager Kevin Towers waiting to pull the trigger. You’d think C. Arnholdt Smith was running the Padres with all the criticism Towers has heard the past couple weeks as the Padres tumbled into last place in the National League West.

They’re down at the bottom, by the way, with the Colorado Rockies, the team that knocked the Padres out of last year’s NL playoffs and then advanced to the World Series. Is their general manager suddenly incompetent, too?

Of all the things to criticize Towers for, failing to make moves in an attempt to improve the team isn’t one of them.

He also claimed left-handed pitcher Sean Henn off waivers from the New York Yankees Friday in another move. He’s got to be better than some of the Padres’ relief pitching, which, as hard as it is to believe, has hurt the team’s record more than the poor hitting.

Towers hasn’t done a Gil Brandt or Bobby Beathard on us yet — making risky moves to live up to his reputation for a keen eye for talent.

Sometimes teams just have bad seasons when several players slump at the same time. But to say Towers doesn’t know how to build a baseball team or tinker with his roster is to ignore his track record.

Update: In yet another move later in the day, the Padres brought up catcher Luke Carlin from Triple-A Portland and sent catcher Colt Morton down to Double-A San Antonio. Carlin was hitting .387 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 11 games.


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