April 29, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48, bottom) slides safely back into first base against San Diego Padres first baseman Yasmani Grandal (8, top) during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
In last night’s 6-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal made his first career start at first base in place of struggling Yonder Alonso. Grandal is familiar with playing the position. Last year, he got some time at first base when he substituted during the Padres 17 inning game against the Toronto Blue Jays, so his familiarity with the position gave manager Bud Black a chance to mix up the lineup that is struggling to find any type of consistency offensively.
Alonso continues to struggle this season. Currently, he is batting .172 with no homeruns and 5 RBI. Since April 16, Alonso is just 4-40, and this is the second straight game that he has missed at first base. It will be interesting if Alonso will be back in the lineup Wednesday night given his current lack of production at the plate.
At this point, Black is trying to find some kind of spark in the offense and give some players additional time off to regain their confidence. Both Grandal and Alonso were key pieces in the trade that sent starter Mat Latos to the Reds in 2012, and the Padres are needing their bats to have any shot at winning the NL West.