Hessler, Edwards among 10 sent to Minors camp

Hessler, Edwards among 10 sent to Minors camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres trimmed their big league roster by 10 players on Monday, but few -- if any -- of the decisions qualified as a surprise.

Among the players sent to the Minors, only relievers Jon Edwards and Keith Hessler entered camp with a serious chance to crack the Opening Day roster. The lefty Hessler was a bullpen longshot. Edwards, meanwhile, missed the 2016 season with a flexor strain in his right elbow, and has felt some forearm tightness this spring.

"Last season, he was a guy we had penciled in as competing for a back-end-of-the-bullpen job," Padres manager Andy Green said of Edwards. "He'd thrown the ball really well the previous September, especially, and you could see he had the potential to be an impact reliever for us -- just hasn't been healthy."

Edwards, Jason Jester, Kyle McGrath, Brad Wieck, Nick Buss and Jose Pirela were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Hessler, Javier Guerra, Jose Rondon and Jose Ruiz -- all of whom are on the 40-man roster -- were optioned.

It's a critical season for Guerra, who was one of the Padres' top prospects when he came over from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade in 2015. The 21-year-old shortstop struggled at the dish in '16.

In sporadic playing time, Guerra finished 0-for-14 in the Cactus League. But Green came away impressed by his spring nonetheless, citing a pair of hits -- including a homer -- in a "B" game against Seattle.

"Defensively, he was outstanding," Green said. "[He] had some good at-bats, competitive at-bats. Energy was great, effort was great, I felt good about his game."

In the bullpen, Jester, McGrath, Wieck and Ruiz aren't quite big league ready, and were never Major League options for the Opening Day roster.

Buss and Pirela will likely provide outfield depth for the Padres at Triple-A El Paso. Rondon, the club's No. 24 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, will provide the same option in the infield.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.