“Exit Strategy”, starring Kyle Blanks

By Wednesday night I’m usually carrying serious sleep debt so with the Padres holding a slim lead against the Dodgers I hit the hay early last night. Today I feel refreshed. Today also means that I’m learning about Kyle Blanks’ demotion to AAA Tucson for the first time.

The move was necessary . . . wait . . . I mean a move was necessary.

We discussed the return of Cameron Maybin earlier this week in our semi-weekly Bar post and while we all thought there existed the possibility of a Blanks demotion we all figured it would most likely be Jesus Guzman who left the stage.

There is outrage amongst Padres fans and I believe it is justified. I love Kyle Blanks. I love the possibility of what he could be as the Padres everyday left fielder. But I’m not totally against this move. In fact it might be a good thing that Blanks leaves for Tucson this morning if the Padres are thinking long term. The outfield is obviously crowded with Quentin, Venable, Denorfia, Amarista, Guzman, Kotsay, and Maybin, who returns today. Blanks is just one more body mucking-up the playing time of the others – and to be traded, the others must play.

If consistent playing time can be given to players like Venable and Denorfia in platoon positions where they thrive, they may become more desirable to teams competing at the July trade deadline. Will Venable is fool’s gold and if letting him play means that the Padres can trick some team into taking that 30 year-old hack then I’m all for it. Norf, on the other hand, is more difficult to let go. I like him a lot but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and his skill set is likely one that will be desired by a contending team later this summer. If the Padres can get something for Norf, then let him go.

If the Padres can get Carlos Quentin the type of playing time that allows him to rest consistently and then to use that fresh body to mash baseballs then maybe the Padres can deal him back to the American League* where he belongs. This would absolve the team of of both salary and unreliable fragility.

*Assuming he is willing to wave his no-trade clause.

Kotsay and Guzman are just filling out roster spots and Amarista is a role player who can do time in both the infield and outfield. But Blanks could be a full time player . . . if they jettison some of the excess bodies.

Maybe this is the Padres’ exit strategy?

I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM where I comment on ___________ , 7 days a week.

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