Vargas, Reyes wintering in their native Mexico

Castillo, 20, has 0.00 ERA in Venezuela

Vargas, Reyes wintering in their native Mexico

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Right-handed pitcher Cesar Vargas is beginning to add innings to his offseason work with Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League.

Vargas, 24, pitched two innings in each of his last two outings after working an inning or 1 1/3 innings in his first four outings as he continues to rehab from a flexor strain in his right elbow that ended his 2016 Padres season on May 29.

The 6-foot-2 Vargas has a 3.24 ERA in Mexico, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts. Signed by the Padres as a free agent on Nov. 20, 2015, Vargas was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in seven starts for the Padres last season before being injured. Vargas is a native of Puebla, Mexico.

He is one of two Padres pitching in Mexico. Gerardo Reyes, 23, has a 1.08 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 11 appearances thus far for Obregon. He has allowed one run on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. The 5-foot-11 right-hander had a combined 4-5 record with a 3.59 ERA in 40 games with the Padres' Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore affiliates last season.

The Padres have one other player in Mexico. Infielder Fernando Perez, a 23-year-old graduate of Otay Ranch High, is hitting .333 (22-for-66) with a .400 on-base percentage with Hermosillo. He has four doubles and two homers with 13 runs scored and eight RBIs. He was the Padres' third-round pick in the 2012 Draft.

Another relief pitcher off to a solid start in winter ball is 6-foot-4, 200-pound left-hander Jose Castillo.

The 20-year-old Castillo, who came to the Padres along with Reyes in the three-team, 11-player trade that brought first baseman Wil Myers to the Padres on Dec. 18, 2014, has a 0.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP after eight appearances with Magallanes in Venezuela. He has allowed five hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.

Castillo was 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 20 games (49 strikeouts in 40 innings) at three Class A levels last summer.

Shortstop Jose Rondon moved from Magallanes to Aragua in Venezuela last week. He is 4-for-11 with his new team and is now hitting .279 on the season with a .348 on-base percentage. Rondon (29-for-104) has five doubles, three triples and a home run for 19 runs scored and seven RBIs. He has a .761 OPS.

The other Padre playing in Venezuela is infielder Alexi Amarista, who is batting .238 since joining Anizoategui two weeks ago.

Center fielder Manuel Margot, 22, is hitting .300 over his last 10 games with Este in the Dominican Republic. He has two doubles, two homers and three walks during the run with a .349 on-base perecentage and a .500 slugging percentage. On the season, Margot is batting .264 (29-for-110) with a .305 on-base percentage.

Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (.241 with a .333 on-base percentage) has completed his winter league season with Escogido in the Dominican Republic. He was 19-for-79 with nine walks.