Even though the Padres will be using the designated hitter in Minnesota this weekend, they said after Wednesday’s game that they’re cutting veteran Jorge Cantu.
The move is likely clearing a spot for Orlando Hudson to come off the DL on Friday.
Cantu was signed to platoon with Brad Hawpe at first base and back up Chase Headley at third base, but he was a big failure in his role, hitting .194/.232/.285 with three homers in 144 at-bats. With the recent promotion of Anthony Rizzo, Cantu was no longer needed as a first baseman against lefties, leaving him with little to do.
It’s hard to say what’s next for Cantu. He drove in 100 runs in 2009, and he’s still just 29 years old. However, he’s struggled mightily over the last year and he’s a liability defensive anywhere except first base. He went unsigned into late January over the winter before settling for $850,000 from the Padres, and there should be even less demand for his services now. Odds are that he’ll have to spend some time in Triple-A before getting another shot.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.