The Padres are losing patience with Kyle Blanks and his 44.8% strikeout rate. Blanks is batting just .184/.297/.379, and it’s not like he’s a plus defender in the outfield.
After some early-season plate discipline issues, Blanks has gotten his strike zone back under control of late, but still, a whopping 36.5% of his swings have come up empty. There’s one player who’s made that work in baseball, and that’s Mark Reynolds.
Then again, there isn’t too much difference between Blanks’ numbers and Reynolds’ (in the underlying numbers, not the surface ones like the triple slash stats; those are obviously different), so perhaps Blanks will snap out of it.
However, he’s been losing playing time to Scott Hairston of late, and if the Padres don’t feel comfortable with Blanks playing every day, they’re best served moving him to Triple-A and giving Chris Denorfia or Mike Baxter a shot. And they’re considering doing just that.
The supposed scenario is that Blanks will be sent down, Denorfia or Baxter will have his contract purchased from Triple-A, and Chris Young will be transferred to the 60-day DL. That’s bad news about Young, who attempted a rehab assignment last week but was rocked and couldn’t get out of the first inning, but the rotation looks stable for now, so there’s no guarantee Young would be an upgrade on any of the five current starters right now. Maybe Clayton Richard. Maybe.
This would likely mean that against righties, you’d see Hairston in left, Tony Gwynn in center, and Will Venable in right, while against lefties, you’d see Hairston shift to center, flanked by whoever gets called up and either Oscar Salazar or Jerry Hairston. Matt Stairs could also see some time in left versus righties.
This is all, of course, not set in stone yet, but there’s a growing feeling that this setup is going to come about within a few days. We’ll wait and see.