Grandal Determined to be a Catcher Long Term
Yasmani Grandal has worked himself back from injury with the mindset that he will become a regular catcher for the Padres starting next season and for his long term future. Manger Bud Black agrees with that sentiment from Grandal. It presents San Diego allot of questions to answer at the catcher position as the off season gets close to arriving.
Grandal, 25, has made quite the case for being a catcher moving forward with the red hot September he has had so far. As of Thursday, he is hitting .282 with six doubles, four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .535 slugging percentage. Some real eye popping number considering the serious knee injury he came back from. He has found his rhythm and most importantly, his swing that he is confident in and one that doe snot have allot of holes in it. It is a welcomed sight for this Padres offense that has been looking for players to step up and provide some consistent offense.
This impressive month of play has only made the catching situation even murkier fro next season. With a fully healthy Grandal, do the Padres decide to split the time between Grandal and Rene Rivera at the catcher position? Does A.J. Preller decide to address other areas of the team first and just go with these two at catcher?
There other needs with this roster that needs to be addressed, but this is a very key decision not only in terms of having a set player in that position but also for the starting rotation. They all need to know who will be their battery mates when they make their starts next season. Sticking with Grandal and Rivera would give the pitchers stability and a familiarity with them and how they like to call games.
Grandal has said he will be playing winter ball to make up for all the time due to his injury and the lengthy recovery process from it. He will play that winter ball in the Dominican Republic, playing mostly at the catcher position.
It will give the 25 year old an opportunity to sharpen his skills as a catcher and with his bat in terms of mechanics. This will further prepare him for spring training and be able to have a effective and productive spring that could set him up to cement the job for himself.