Triple-A outfielder Mike Baxter batted .360/.500/.500 in April, and it looked like the 25-year-old might catch a break.
With Kyle Blanks struggling to hit for half of Baxter’s average in the majors, there was a possibility the two could switch levels at some point soon.
Alas, while Blanks continues to slump, Baxter has begun to fall off as well. He’s hitting a weak .132/.233/.316 in May–a very Blanks-esque line.
Baxter is the sort of minor league vet who needs everything to go right for him to get a shot in the majors. He offers defensive versatility between the four corners (although he has minimal experience at third) and a solid lefty singles-and-doubles bat, as well as some plate discipline, but he’s not particularly young and he doesn’t have much upside.
Baxter’s slump means that Chris Denorfia (.321/.382/.527 to Baxter’s .261/.393/.420) is more likely to get the call. Denorfia possesses more speed and defensive versatility, bats righthanded (which the Padres need in the outfield) and is showing more power than Baxter.
Baxter sure picked a bad two weeks to slump.