The San Diego Padres may not have the record that they want at 22-28. However, judging from my basic math skills, 22 plus 28 equals 50, which means Yasmani Grandal is finally free!
Grandal, who was one of the main pieces in the trade that sent Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds, really broke out for the Padres in 2012. Although he only played in 60 games, Grandal had a very impressive .297/.394/.469 slashline. Any time a catcher can put up that kind of offensive production is a huge boost, and one that the Padres desperately need.
Maybe because I use the Padres in my MLB: The Show franchise mode, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Friars. I really do not think they are that far away from being a competitive force in the National League. I mean, they have one of the better farm systems in baseball, so it’s only a matter of time before those kids grow up and become useful.
Also, their offense — when healthy — isn’t that bad, especially with a franchise cornerstone like Chase Headley.
With Grandal back in the fold, San Diego’s middle of the order should be pretty solid. Players like Yonder Alonso, Carlos Quentin and Jedd Gyorko should improve over the season, while they are getting constant production from players like Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera. I have to think Grandal will hit behind Headley, giving him the protection he deserves.
Lastly, I doubt Grandal can put up an on-base percentage that high this season, but I would be surprised if he didn’t eclipse the .340 mark. The only way I see Grandal failing is due to the pressure of coming off a PED suspension, which is very possible. But hey, at least the Padres aren’t the Los Angeles Dodgers, right?