Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal suffered a torn ACL on July 6 when Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon slid into him on a play at home plate. The initial timetable for his return was set between 9-12 months and that appears to still be the case, according to Bill Center of the Union-Times. Grandal underwent surgery in early August, so nine months would mark early may as the earliest he could return.
Without Grandal, the Padres’ catching corps will include starter Nick Hundley and back-up Rene Rivera.
Grandal broke out in 2012, joining the Padres for the second half of the regular season. In 226 trips to the plate, he posted an impressive .863 OPS, including a .394 on-base percentage thanks to walking nearly as often as he struck out (31 to 39). He regressed a bit in 2013 prior to his injury, posting a .693 OPS, but still appeared quite capable of handling the day-to-day challenges of the Majors.
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.