By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Matt Szczur now must hope to latch on with another Major League Baseball team.
According to multiple media reports, the Lower Cape May Regional High School graduate has been designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres.
The designation means Szczur has been removed from the Padres’ 40-man roster. The Padres have seven days to trade, release or place Szczur on irrevocable waivers.
Szczur, a reserve outfielder, was hitting .187 with 14 hits in 75 at bats for the Padres this season. He had one home run and six RBI. He was used mostly as a pinch hitter, late-inning defensive replacement or pinch runner, with a rare start mixed in.
Szczur was designated for assignment to make room for utility player Carlos Asuaje, who was called up from the minors after hitting .338 in 35 games at Triple A El Paso.
Szczur, who turns 29 July 20, landed in San Diego early last season after being designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs. He played parts of four seasons in Chicago, enjoying his most success during the Cubs’ World Series championship season in 2016 when he hit .259 with five home runs and 24 RBI in a reserve role.
Szczur is a 2007 graduate of Lower Cape May, where he starred in football and baseball. He went on to play both sports at Villanova University, helping the Wildcat football team win the FCS national championship as a junior. He amassed 270 all-purpose yards and was named MVP of the title game. Szczur was named Colonial Athletic Association Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Year that season. In baseball, Szczur batted .392 with 62 RBI and 28 stolen bases in two seasons combined.
Szczur was selected in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cubs in 2010. He made his major league debut in August 2014.