Padres' Kyle Blanks slated for Tommy John surgery

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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.