San Diego Padres' Kyle Blanks Avoids Disaster In Close Encounter With Wall

By Thom Tsang
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

At a listed 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, San Diego Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks is a big dude. That said, the left field wall at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, is bigger, and it ain’t going anywhere.

What was the saying about the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object again?

Blanks got the chance to find out in a first-hand physics lesson during Sunday’s contest between the two divisional rivals when he tracked a hard-hit fly ball off the bat of Joaquin Arias in the bottom of the sixth inning. He’d gotten a good read of the ball in the sun, and made a fantastic play to save what would have likely been extra bases — the only problem was that he didn’t get a chance to look at how quickly he was running out of real estate.

So along with making the play, the left fielder also made a very personal introduction to the outfield wall with his head.

Let’s just say the wall won this battle. The play sure looked pretty, even though the ensuing scary collision … not so much. Blanks, who was wearing sunglasses at the time, took a minute to gather himself on the field, and eventually left the game with the Padres’ trainers as a precaution.

Now, any time that type of collision happens and you see sunglasses explode into pieces, the first thought is usually going to be the fear of eye injuries. Fortunately, the glasses didn’t do any serious damage to the 26-year-old, although he didn’t exactly get off scot-free:

So, inches away from disaster, then.

It’s about time that the slugging outfielder got a break, as his development as a former top-50 prospect has been seriously stunted due to numerous injuries over the past three seasons. Blanks had been up with the Padres over the last week or so as a replacement for the suspended Carlos Quentin and had done a reasonable job with the opportunity thus far, posting a .250/.333/.450 triple-slash with a homer through his first 22 PA.

He’d been crushing Triple-A prior to this as expected (.943 OPS through 33 PA), and the biggest key to his 2013 season with the organization is going to be health.

As long as he can keep being on the good side of luck as he was on Sunday, there’s more than a good chance that, considering Quentin’s own history with injuries, Blanks will be back up with the team again later on in the season after this stint ends following Monday’s contest.

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