Calling Nick Hundley


September 27, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (12) reacts after giving up a run on a passed ball during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

AP reported Yasmani Grandal is set to address his teammates Saturday with an apology and meet with the media later in the evening.

Grandal showed flashes at the plate this past season putting up .297/8/56 in 60 games. What a tease! Not only does the suspension have the Padres resorting to a Hundley/Baker duo for 50-plus games, but it hits harder because Mat Latos was shipped off in exchange.

Who knows how the team will react to his apology but one guy that has to be licking his chops is Nick Hundley. Hundley, the guy who was sent down to AAA only to see Grandal take a permanent crouch behind his plate. Hundley, the guy who seems to always get injured when everything is going right.

Hundley’s issues don’t reside on talent. He has been burdened by injuries ever since he joined the club. This past season was his worst by far, landing on the disabled list with a hamstring injury early in the year and then having season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. That particular injury was suffered in April and could possibly excuse his .157/3/22 line. The most games he has seen in a season are 85 in 2010. In 2011, he saw 82 games while putting up .288/9/29. Not exactly the numbers Grandal put up but then again…steroids. Also, Hundley is better defensively and a better game caller.

Last season, Grandal batted primarily in the 5-hole, behind Quentin and in front of  Alonso. This offered him great protection and an ideal spot in the batting order to see good pitches. If Hundley can stay healthy, his offensive numbers should improve in that spot.

As devastating as the Grandal suspension seems, a healthy Hundley might not be a bad alternative. But this still bothers me a little. Our catching situation could become a big dilemma.

Is Grandal going to come back and continue to produce? If Hundley has a hot bat out of the gate, will Grandal stay in the doghouse?

Grandal has put the organization in a position I hate. Sometime this season, the Padres are going to have to decide who will be our backstop for the next few years until Austin Hedges is ready.  That is a big decision and quite frankly the front office has given us no reason to be confident in their ability to make tough decisions. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded both for cash. That is not going to happen but I’m just saying, I would not be surprised.

What do we root for, Hundley having a big year and keeping Grandal in minors for the season? Hope Grandal comes back and both feed of each other forming some super dynamic catching duo? Baker blowing both out of the water and taking the catching gig for himself (he IS only 32)?

It is kind of depressing not knowing what you want and worse, not having any control over the outcome. All I want is a healthy, ‘roid free catcher the team can depend on. Nick Hundley, you’re up to bat.