Nick Hundley’s nightmare season ends with knee surgery

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Nick Hundley signed a three-year, $9 million extension with the Padres in January, but it’s been all downhill from there.

Hundley batted just .166 with three home runs and a .485 OPS in 55 games prior to being demoted to Triple-A Tucson in late June. The 28-year-old backstop suffered a hamstring injury during his time in the minors, but found his way back to the majors earlier this month while Yasmani Grandal was on the disabled list with an oblique injury. However, he appeared in just three games before being placed on the disabled list with a right knee injury. Making matters worse, Corey Brock of MLB.com is reporting that he’ll undergo season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair a torn meniscus.

Hundley actually suffered the injury way back in April, so that would certainly explain his season-long struggles. He’ll likely be 100 percent by spring training, but his future with the Padres is in doubt now that Grandal has seemingly jumped him on the depth chart.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.