Incredibly enough, the Padres have scored 43 runs in their last four games. Still, they’re giving Orlando Hudson his first career start in the cleanup spot Tuesday against the Mets.
Never in his life has Hudson batted from the fourth spot in the order, even in his appearances off the bench. His previous 1,165 starts break down like this:
Batting 2nd: 414
Batting 3rd: 239
Batting 8th: 193
Batting 7th: 144
Batting 9th: 82
Batting 6th: 53
Batting 1st: 23
Batting 5th: 17
Batting 4th: 0
Hudson brings a .239/.332/.320 line, three homers and 27 RBI in 259 at-bats with him into tonight’s game. That the Mets are throwing a left-hander in Chris Capuano is undoubtedly part of the reason Bud Black has decided to hit Hudson fourth tonight. All three of the switch-hitter’s homers have come against southpaws, and his slugging percentage skyrockets to .386 when he’s batting from the right side.
Matt Ehalt of The Record reports that the Mariners may have some interest in acquiring second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets. The club hasn’t confirmed anything of the kind, naturally, but the prevailing thought is that they’ll need some insurance at second base if they reach the playoffs, since Cano’s current 80-game suspension precludes him from participating in any postseason series.
On Friday, club GM Jerry Dipoto revealed that Cano will likely return to the team as a first baseman once his suspension expires, while second baseman/outfielder Dee Gordon is slated to remain at the keystone for the foreseeable future. With the infield all but set in stone, however, Dipoto said that acquiring position players at this year’s deadline isn’t likely to be a “primary concern,” especially as the team focuses on strengthening their pitching staff prior to making a run at the postseason.
Still, there’s a case to be made for Cabrera. The 32-year-old second baseman has already improved on some of last year’s totals and is currently batting .282/.335/.492 with 17 home runs (16 more than Gordon has tallied so far in 2018), 21 doubles and an .827 OPS in 385 plate appearances. He could provide some much-needed support behind Gordon until Cano’s suspension lifts on August 14; following the end of the 2018 season, he’s scheduled to enter the free agent pool for 2019.