There is always something special about certain places in life, isn’t there? The places that defined and shaped us. For Carlos Quentin, Chicago is where he truly became a major league ballplayer. As the Padres took on the White Sox Friday night, it was Quentin’s first return to the ballpark since September 12th, 2011 when he was a member of the SouthSiders. As reported by Corey Brock of MLB.com, Quentin was really looking forward to it as well. “It was four years. It was pretty meaningful. I’ll be curious to see what it’s like on the visiting side, because all I ever knew was the home side.”
A good four years indeed. While a member of the White Sox, Quentin hit 107 of his 152 career home runs, and played in what seems unfathomable to Padres fans: 478 games in those 4 years. An average of 119.5 games a season. His best year was 2008, where he smacked 36 homers and reached the 100 RBI plateau for the only time in his career. He made the All-Star Team and was 5th in MVP voting. Home cooking perhaps?
The jury is still out on his San Diego tenure. The fact he has only averaged 84 games a season since coming to America’s Finest City certainly says one thing, but the reality that when in the lineup, he absolutely is one of the best hitters says another. Friday he proved why a move back to the AL would help his own career, going 2-for-5 as the DH in the lineup. For his career, his OBP is typically about 100 points higher than his batting average, another fact that could help the Padres. As a team, their OBP is just .281 compared to an even worse team batting average of .224. Don’t hit Carlos by a pitch either, right Zack Greinke?
Going home. For Padres fans, we can enjoy seeing Carlos in the lineup every day this weekend against Chicago. We just wish we saw more of him not playing in AL parks.