Former Mets Relief Pitcher: Juan Padilla (2005)

Juan Miguel Padilla was Born on February 17, 1977 in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico. The six foot right hander eventually made his way to the United States pitching at Jacksonville University for the Dolphins. There he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 24th round of the 1998 draft. 

He pitched in the minor leagues as a reliever saving 23 games at A ball for Fort Meyers in 2001. The next year he saved 29 games at AA New Britian.

Padilla was sent to the AL New York club in 2003 for former Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco, there he debuted in the majors pitching for six games in 2004. He was placed on waivers & picked by the Cincinnati Reds pitching in 12 games, earning his first career win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 30th.

He was signed by the New York Mets in the off season as a free agent for 2005. He began the year at AAA Norfolk going 3-2 with 11 saves posting a 1.42 ERA, before being brought up to the Mets in July. Padilla made his Mets debut at Shea Stadium pitching a scoreless 7th inning in a Mets win over the Atlanta Braves. 

In his second outing he earned a save at Shea Stadium against the Padres. At the end of August he got his first win & added two more in the month of September to finish the year at 3-1 with five holds, a save, posting a 1.49 ERA in 36 innings over 24 games pitched.

Padilla certainly looked promising for the future but then needed Tommy John surgery which shut him down for the next two seasons. He was released by the Mets then signed to a minor league deal in 2008 but was eventually released again. He pitched in the independent league in New Hampshire in 2009 & then became a reliever / pitching coach for the Pittsfield Colonials.


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