Padres' Kyle Blanks slated for Tommy John surgery

2 Comments

Kyle Blanks, who has been on the DL since May 17 with what the Padres called a strained throwing elbow, will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday and miss the rest of the season.
A pitcher undergoing a similar surgery would face the likelihood of missing at least half of 2011. Blanks might be able to return sooner, but it’d be easier for him to do so as a first baseman than as an outfielder.
Of course, Blanks should have been playing first base all along. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound behemoth has started 62 games in the outfield for the Padres the last two years because of Adrian Gonzalez’s precense on the roster. Playing out of position caused him to develop plantar fasciitis last year, ending his season in August.
Whether or not making throws from the outfield caused his torn elbow ligament is unclear, but it could well have played a role.
The injury puts his future within the organization in doubt. The Padres would have to be especially nervous about trading Gonzalez this winter with their replacement iffy for Opening Day. And if Gonzalez stays and Blanks is unable to come back and make throws from the outfield next year, then the young slugger may well be a non-factor until 2012.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

mlb
Logan Riely/Getty Images
1 Comment

PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.