After the mound-charging, the suspension and the 1.029 OPS surge in June, Carlos Quentin‘s 2013 season will be defined by the one thing that has defined just about his entire career: his time spend away from the field, nursing an ailing body part back to health.
Yes, the ghost of the injury bug that once potentially cost him an AL MVP award is still ever-present years later.
Except this time, it’s with a very different San Diego Padres team and under much less spectacular circumstances, that’s all. As Corey Brock of MLB.com reports, the strained knee that has kept the slugging outfielder out of action since July 31 is progressing, but only to point where the team is ready to test it in a week to 10 days … to see if he needs to be shut down for the season.
So yeah, not exactly the most glowing outlook for him to come back and make an impact with the Friars.
Then again, you can’t say that it’s something that San Diego shouldn’t have seen coming. After all, the veteran’s injury history is long enough to dwarf the list of PED lies that Alex Rodriguez has told over the years, with the 30-year-old having only played games thanks to anything ranging from issues with his wrist, knee and shoulder.
If you didn’t already know better, you’d maybe even say that this is a player whose body is falling apart at the seams every time he takes the field. His penchant to drawing hit by pitches doesn’t help him in this case, of course — even if he apparently doesn’t like it when it’s Zack Greinke doing the throwing.
It’s too bad for the Padres, really, because if you were to discount the injuries and games missed, Quentin has essentially been everything they signed up for when they decided to retain him through 2015 with a mutual option for 2016.
With a 275/.363/.493 triple-slash that includes with 13 homers in 320 PA, the veteran is — like he was last season — exactly the middle-of-the-order bat the team needs to complement folks like Chase Headley; and given the emergence of Everth Cabrera and the offensive display that Will Venable has shown lately, you’d have to say this offense for the Friars might even be in pretty good shape next season …
… if they can answer all of the question marks, that is. Headley will need to rebound from a down year, Cabrera will have post-suspension questions to face, and nobody knows if the real Venable has shown up.
Put into that context, and Quentin actually has the simplest task: just stay healthy (that, or hope for a trade to the AL where he can be strictly a DH).
But hey, it’s always those simple things that are easier said than done, yes?