Carlos Quentin has always produced when healthy, topping an .800 OPS every year from 2010-2013, but he’s played fewer than 100 games in each of the past three seasons and this winter the Padres decided to move on.
Quentin is still on the roster and under contract for $8 million, but San Diego added Justin Upton Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers in high-profile trades to totally remake the starting outfield and that leaves Quentin without a defensive home.
So in an effort to carve out a potential role the 32-year-old former All-Star asked manager Bud Black if he could spend some time at first base, where the idea of beating out Yonder Alonso for playing time is a little more doable. Quentin has never played first base in the majors, but a veteran with bad knees and a previously good bat can certainly be at home there.
Of course, if Quentin proves that he’s healthy the Padres would probably love to unload his contract–including the $10 million option for 2016–and the best fit for him would seemingly be in the American League as a full-time designated hitter. Quentin seems to recognize that and indicated to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause if needed.
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.