Apr 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin (right) reacts after umpire Andy Fletcher (49) called him out on strikes during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oh you were looking for more than that?
Cameron Maybin has been awful to start the season. Again. He has a total of two hits in 24 at bats, four strikeouts, two walks, with one of those being an intentional pass, and zero stolen bases. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s good for a whopping .083 batting average and .154 on-base percentage.
Maybin is known for being a slow starter, as he only compiled 15 total hits last April, but this is getting ridiculous. Maybin signed a 5-year deal with the Padres a couple years ago, and has done very little so far to deserve that contract. He was obviously highly-touted coming out of high school and was drafted in the first round by the Tigers back in 2005, but he struggled to earn consistent playing time at the MLB level. He eventually made his way to San Diego via trade from the Marlins in 2010 and the Padres thought a change of scenery would revive what was once thought to be a plethora of potential.
Unfortunately, while he has been an above-average center-fielder, he is a huge liability at the plate right now. He looks extremely uncomfortable, especially against right-handers.
While it’s still very early in the season, this is a crucial time for the Padres. Their best hitter is still out in Chase Headley, starting catching Yasmani Grandal is serving his 50-game PED suspension (although Nick Hundley has been an adequate fill-in so far) and bopper Carlos Quentin could be headed to the DL (shocker) after getting hit on the wrist Tuesday night. With plenty of division games left in the month, they cannot afford such a terrible April that they are too far in the hole to make up ground later in the season, you know, exactly like 2012. Why keep Maybin in the lineup right now if he is a guaranteed out every single at-bat? Black could go with a Denorfia, Venable, Guzman outfield and call it a day.
I am as big of a Maybin fan as anyone. But there’s obviously a trend in his game, where it takes him a couple months to heat up. So give him some starts versus lefties and some spot starts versus righties so he can continue to see pitches and get into the flow of the season. But if Black sticks with him in the lineup every day, he very well could contribute to a 8-18 type of April, where the Friars are looking up at the other four teams in the NL West. Way up.
At 2-6 currently, what does Black have to lose?