Rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal has provided a huge spark for the Padres since being called up on June 2, hitting .312 with five homers and a .947 OPS in 24 games, but now he’ll miss at least two weeks with a strained oblique muscle.
He’ll be eligible to return from the disabled list in the middle of the month, but oblique injuries have a tendency to linger. Normally the Padres would probably recall Nick Hundley from Triple-A to replace Grandal, as he was the starting catcher to begin the season, but because he’s on the disabled list with a hamstring injury John Baker and Eddy Rodriguez will split the action.
It’s only 24 games, of course, but Grandal’s production is pretty amazing for a rookie catcher calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home. In fact, since the Padres moved into Petco Park in 2004 the only hitters to play at least 20 games and post a higher OPS than Grandal’s current mark are Milton Bradley in 2007, Scott Hairston in 2007, Russell Branyan in 2006, and Adrian Gonzalez in 2009.
Grandal came to the Padres from the Reds along with Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, and Brad Boxberger for Mat Latos in December. Looks like a helluva trade for San Diego at this point.
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.