The nagging injury that first sprung up during spring training will now end Kyle Blanks‘ season. The left fielder/first baseman has been battling the injury since early spring. He first thought he had slept on his left shoulder wrong, but the pain just would not go away. He missed some time to start the season, tried to play through the pain, and has ultimately landed on the 60-day DL and will miss the season.
Blanks had a solid opportunity ahead of him when Carlos Quentin underwent knee surgery during the spring. With Quentin sidelined for a few weeks, Blanks was to be the team’s opening day left fielder and was to get some consistent time – something he has never received in his Major League career. Things didn’t work out that way. Blanks’ injury kept him on the bench for the most part, and Jesus Guzman played left.
Blanks played in just four games this season. He has played in 146 games since 2009. Most in the organization
(not to mention most fans) wanted to see Blanks get some consistent playing time. He may be the Padres best power option, but has never been able to play on a daily basis. In his career, Blanks is a .219/.316/.421 hitter. He has an OPS+ of 105 indicating he has some talent that just simply needs refinement.
What was originally diagnosed as a left shoulder strain was actually a significant tear. After landing on the disabled list to rest the shoulder, it was discovered that Blanks had a left labrum tear.
It’s not the end of the world, but at the end of the day I’m not going to say it doesn’t [stink]. But there are other guys in this clubhouse who have gone through the same thing. It’s a little step back. It’s another hurdle.
It’s possible that Blanks could return at the end of the 2012 season as the recovery time is usually 4-6 months, but he and the Padres have opted to play it safe. Blanks will focus on rehab and plan on returning for spring training 2013.