“Rocky” would be an appropriate adjective to describe the first month and a half of Carlos Quentin’s 2013 regular season.
In terms of health problems, it was bad enough that the veteran left fielder’s knee issues flared up for him during spring training. Unfortunately for Quentin, he ran into more trouble once the actual regular season got underway.
On April 9th, San Diego’s left fielder was hit by a pitch on his wrist by Ronald Belisario of the Dodgers. After that plunking, Quentin was nailed once again by Los Angeles’ Zack Greinke two days later.
Already angry at what took place, Carlos charged the mound after Los Angeles’ starter mouthed-off to him. In the fracas that ensued, Quentin broke Greinke’s collarbone and was eventually suspended for eight games for his actions in the brawl.
As bad as the health and the suspension issues were for the left fielder though, Quentin could not seem to get on track from an offensive standpoint during his first 30 games of the 2013 campaign.
After San Diego’s win versus St. Louis on May 20th, San Diego’s cleanup hitter had only recorded a.179 batting average (16 for 90), a .296 on-base percentage, and a .378 slugging percentage.
To his credit though, 10 of Quentin’s 16 hits went for extra bases (six doubles, four home runs) and his power did not appear to be an issue during April and early May. Despite his high ratio of extra base hits to hits though, Quentin’s struggles at the plate and lack of production were a definite cause for concern for the Padres.
Thankfully, things finally started to change for Quentin around the last week of May. Since May 24th, Carlos has been one of his team’s most steady contributors from an offensive standpoint. Over his last 36 games, Quentin has been on an offensive tear as he has recorded a .346 batting average (44 for 127) and a .425 on-base percentage.
The Padres’ cleanup hitter has remained a solid source of run production for his team as well. Since late May, Quentin has hit nine doubles, six home runs, and 15 runs batted in to go along with a stellar .559 slugging percentage.
Even during the Padres’ current 10-game losing streak, Quentin has been one of the few hitters on San Diego’s roster who has produced on a consistent basis. San Diego’s left fielder has hit at a .333 clip (12 for 36), reached base often (.385 on-base percentage), and been a viable power threat in the middle of the lineup (.583 slugging percentage). In addition to the six runs batted in he has logged during the losing streak, Quentin has also smacked three doubles and two home runs too.
Quentin’s recent production has been nice to see, particularly because most of his teammates are mired in mid-season slumps. My hope is that Carlos can continue to rake until his other teammates, most notably Chase Headley, can provide him with some support. Yet if the Padres are ever going to get out of their current slump, they will need their entire lineup to produce along with Quentin.
For now though, let’s just be happy that the team’s cleanup hitter has been doing a solid job over the last month. Moreover, let’s hope that Headley and the rest of San Diego’s lineup can up their collective productivity as well.
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