The San Diego Padres’ roller coaster 2013 season continues Tuesday night, in Seattle, with the return of Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal, who was considered the prize jewel of the package of players the Cincinnati Reds sent to the Padres in return for Mat Latos, was suspended for the first 50 games of the season when a drug test revealed higher-than-normal testosterone levels.
If you break the Padres’ season down into groups of 10 game intervals, it’s easy to see why the team has yet to get to a .500 winning percentage.
Games 1-10: 2-8
Games 11-20: 3-7
Games 21-30: 7-3
Games 31-40: 6-4
Games 41-50: 4-6
San Diego got off to a very slow start while waiting for Chase Headley to return from injury. It made up good ground once he returned, but the bats of Carlos Quentin and Nick Hundley have gone cold and Headley hasn’t been able to carry the team offensively on his own.
Here’s the slash-line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of all three for the first two months of 2013.
Quentin (April): .239/.339/.478
Quentin (May): .190/.319/.414
Hundley (April): .329/.357/.544
Hundley (May): .143/.222/.179
Headley (April): .261/.364/.478
Headley (May): .262/.374/.381
If Hundley and Quentin could be as consistent as Headley, the Padres would be right in the thick of the race for the NL West. Instead, the team is falling quickly toward last place unless it can find a way to get talented hitters into the lineup. I think I know just the guys for the job.
Blanks (April): .281/.333/.406
Blanks (May): .267/.400/.467
Grandal (2012): .297/.394/.469
Coincidentally, Kyle Blanks is a left fielder (just like Quentin), and Grandal is a catcher (just like Hundley). While Hundley and Grandal have a bit of history, it would be silly for Bud Black to lose games for the sake of standing by two veterans who are not currently contributing.
Grandal is starting Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners and, barring a miraculous turnaround by both Hundley and Quentin, he and Blanks should be getting regular starts and helping score runs for the Padres in droves by mid-June. That’s why fans should be excited to see Grandal, and all of his offseason baggage, back in the clubhouse and on the field for San Diego.