Medica’s Injury Leads To Black’s Odd Decision At First Base


Jul 2, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman

Tommy Medica

(14) in the field during the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Manager Bud Black made an interesting move in last night’s 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers when he replaced injured first baseman and utilityman Tommy Medica with backup catcher Rene Rivera.

Medica left Thursday’s game with a sore right groin muscle while legging out a grounder in the second inning. Padres writer Corey Brock stated that the team will know more Friday about Medica’s condition and whether it is too soon to determine if the team will need to add a player from Triple-A El Paso. Padres’ manager Bud Black added, “He’s sore. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

It’s been a roller coaster season so far at the first base position with struggling Yonder Alonso on the DL with tendinitis in his right wrist and catcher Yasmani Grandal filling in from time-to-time. Despite hitting .230 with four homers and 13 RBI, Medica’s versatility gave the Padres’ some experience despite the lack of production from this side of the diamond.

However, Medica’s departure showed the Padres’ lack of depth at first position. Rivera looked lost filling in last night and was responsible for a couple of errors that allowed the Dodgers’ to put men in scoring position.  Despite losing the game anyways, Black’s decision not to move Grandal to first could and put Rivera behind the dish could have resulted in two or three more runs, but Odrisamer Despaigne managed to pitch out those jams to hold the Dodgers to two runs on the night.

Knowing that Clayton Kershaw was on the mound, it was confusing to see Black put in Rivera and not Jake Goebbert who has experience at first base when the team is already struggling to score runs and defense is critical.