SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Mount Olive College alum Tom Layne, the 2007 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year, was called up to the San Diego Padres Tuesday and added to their 25-man roster. Layne jumps from Double-A ball directly to the Big Leagues and becomes the second Trojan in two weeks to get called up to the Majors. Pitcher Carter Capps has made two appearances since being added to the Seattle Mariners' roster July 31.
Layne, an All-America selection during his one year on the Trojan pitching staff, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 24th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. Layne started this season with the Triple-A Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League before being traded to the Padres organization. Layne was assigned to the San Antonio Missions of the Double-A Texas League.
Layne told Corey Brock of MLB.com that getting sent back down to Double-A was discouraging, but not the end of the world.
"Any time you're 27 and in Double-A, you question what you're doing," said Layne. "But at that point, I wasn't ready to give it up."
The left-hander was 0-2 with a 9.00 earned run average in two starts with San Antonio when he was moved to the bullpen. In 30 relief appearances for the Missions, Layne recorded a 1.05 ERA with 29 strikeouts and only three earned runs allowed in 25 2/3 innings pitched.
"My heart has always been in relieving," he said. "I was having fun doing it. It made it fun to come to the ballpark each day. You can throw every day. I love being out there."
Layne was surprised when he was told he would be joining the Padres for their series at the Atlanta Braves.
"I really wasn't expecting it," Layne said Tuesday upon arriving at Turner Field.
Layne will help fill a void for the Padres as a left-handed specialist.
"He's done really well since we put him in the left-handed role," said vice president of player development and international scouting Randy Smith. "His stuff played better."
The Padres continue their four-game series at Atlanta with afternoon contests Wednesday and Thursday before going back to San Diego for a six-game homestand. This week's series at Atlanta is the Padres' last remaining trip to the Eastern Time Zone this season.