Scrolling through the Padres Twittersphere today, most of the talk was about final cuts almost done with Sean O’Sullivan, Tim Stauffer, Gregorio Petit, Travis Buck and Rene Rivera being sent down to the minors. One interesting player still in the mix is Kyle Blanks.
Or so it would seem.
Padres fans have been waiting for the 6’6″ 265-pound 1B/OF to finally turn a corner and hit at the major league level but injuries have impeded his development. The 26-year-old made his debut in June 2009 but was sidelined with plantar fasciitis August of that year. 2010 saw him have Tommy John surgery at the end of July in a season where he hadn’t played since May 17. Sprinkle in the fact Blanks had to adjust to the outfield due to Adrian Gonzalez and now Yonder Alonso blocking him from his natural position, one kind of starts pulling for the guy.
Now would seem like the time for him to make his move to solidify a spot on this roster, and this Spring he has taken every opportunity he’s had, batting .339/.431/.593 with 13 RBI (possibly 14, I think he had one more today), and 3 HRs in 59 ABs. But there doesn’t seem to be room on the roster for the guy. Jesus Guzman crushes lefties and has proven to be steady at the plate even though he is a one man circus on the field. Will Venable and Chris Denorfia are going to platoon in RF and there is no way they put Blanks out there.
So what to do with a guy crushing the ball this Spring?
Send him down to AAA. Blanks has been crushing the ball every Spring he has been able to fully participate in but has failed miserably at the major league level.
2009: 30 G/69 AB .319/.415/.580
2010: 20 G/59 AB .407/.478/.729
2012: 15 G/40 AB .325/.386/.593
Regular Season :
2009: 54 G/148 AB .250/.355/.514
2010: 33 G/102 AB .157/.283/.324
2011: 55 G/170 AB .229/.300/.406
*His 2011 Spring Training numbers are not listed because he only had 5 AB and his 2012 Regular Season numbers are not listed because he only had 5 AB.
The numbers he is putting up this Spring are nothing new. I highlight this because I noticed people wondering what was going to happen with Blanks and if he would make our roster. There is no need to make room for a player that has not proven he can hit at the highest level. Believe me, I want Blanks to succeed as much as the next Padres fan but I would not replace Alexi Amarista, Mark Kotsay, Guzman, Venable, and Denorfia on our bench for Blanks.
Yes Blanks needs a chance to prove himself and will only do that with more at bats but I would rather see what he has in September when we know how good we are (or are not) than at the start of the season. For the sake of health on the team, Blanks not getting called up this season would mean no injuries the key members on the team. So here’s to wishing Blanks a great season…in the minors.