MONDAY, JULY 18, 2005
Former Dolphin Juan Padilla Called Up To Major Leagues

July 18, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former Jacksonville University pitcher Juan Padilla (Rio Piedres, Puerto Rico) had his contract purchased by the New York Mets on July 15 and made his 2005 major league debut on July 17 in an 8-1 win over the Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium. Padilla joins former JU pitcher Nick Regilio (Deltona, Fla.), who is currently on the 15-day disabled list with the Texas Rangers, as current Dolphins in the major leagues. In JU program history, 91 players have been drafted by the professional ranks, including nine that have reached the majors.

Padilla led the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, with a 1.42 ERA and 11 saves in 37 appearances, while also posting a 3-2 record, 59 strikeouts and only nine walks in 63.1 innings. The right-hander also hurled 1.0 innings of scoreless relief in the 2005 Triple-A All-Star Game on July 13 at Raley Field in Sacramento, Calif., as a member of the International League.

Padilla was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 24th round of the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft and was acquired by the New York Yankees in 2003 as the player to be named in the deal that sent Jesse Orosco to Minnesota. After going 0-0 with a 3.97 ERA in six appearances with the Yankees, the right-hander was released and completed the 2004 season as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He finished the year 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA and 25.2 innings in 18 appearances between the two franchises. Padilla was released in the offseason by the Reds and then signed a contract with the New York Mets.

Padilla, a member of the Dolphin program from 1997-98, made his major-league debut with the Yankees on July 8, 2004, after posting a 1-1 record in 30 appearances with a 2.51 ERA, 33 strikeouts, 43 innings pitched and only three walks with the Columbus Clippers (AAA) of the International League.

In two seasons with JU, Padilla was a pitcher and shortstop after transferring from Tallahassee Community College. As a pitcher, he appeared in 33 games (19 starts) with a 3.78 ERA, 133.0 innings, 122 strikeouts, eight complete games and five saves. At the plate, Padilla batted .306 with 57 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 50 RBI. In his final season with JU, Regilio posted a 7-2 record in 13 starts with a 4.58 ERA, 66 strikeouts and just 29 walks in 72.2 innings.