One of the main question marks for the San Diego Padres this spring has surrounded the health and availability of catcher Yasmani Grandal heading into the season. In Monday’s 5-0 win against the Colorado Rockies, we witnessed the first steps towards getting an answer as Grandal made and unexpected appearance in the game.
Only eight months removed from tearing his ACL, Grandal entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, and in his lone hit in two at-bats, he promptly hit the first pitch he saw up the middle for a single. Welcome back. Grandal eventually made another mark in the game on the defensive side of things when he easily threw out Rockies shortstop Rossell Herrera on an attempted steal.
The Padres could sure use an healthy Grandal in their lineup for as many games as his health will allow them to have him, and today’s game was a huge step in that direction. Grandal has been saying since he first began rehabbing that he would be ready for Opening Day, but with a 9-12 month estimated time of recovery coupled with the fact that we were talking about a severe knee injury suffered by a player whose positions is so demanding on the knees — a return by Opening Day seemed like a long shot to many.
Well folks, Opening Day doesn’t seem like a long shot anymore and at this point, I would be shocked if he wasn’t available. Grandal has obviously worked hard and is deserving of a lot of respect for even being this far along in his rehabilitation in my opinion.
Playing in just 28 games in 2013, the Padres have been waiting to have the player that hit .297 with a .394 on-base percentage with eight homers in just 192 at-bats 2012 available to them for a full season, and while a eight months ago that didn’t seem possible — it sure does now.
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