Many awoke Thursday morning to learn Kyle Blanks was being sent down, the companion move to activating Cameron Maybin. To say there was some angst about this decision would be an understatement. People were pissed. The Avenger tried to put a positive perspective on the move. Maybe it helped you.
This afternoon we learned the Padres had changed their mind. Instead of sending Blanks to Tucson, they placed Yonder Alonso on the 15-day DL retroactive to 1 June. Alonso hasn’t played at all since being hit on the hand by Aaron Loup. This move makes eminent sense in the short-term. Alonso has been productive in 2013 (.285/.335/.416), but he’s been a body taking up space on the roster since getting plunked. Playing 9 innings with a 5-man bench is hard enough. Playing extra innings with a 4-man bench had limited Bud Black’s options pretty severely.
So Blanks is back for the time being. Good deal. Of course, you know: all the Padres did here was delay the final decision.
When Alonso comes back, we’ll go through this again. Who do they get rid of then? Will it be Blanks back to AAA? Will it be Guzman, traded to the American League? Will it be Kotsay to the bus boy stand at the Cheesecake Factory? Will it be someone else to parts unknown?
It continues to make no sense to kick Blanks off the major league roster. Look at the box score for tonight. Of the Padres who appeared in the game Kyle had the second-highest SLG. Of the Padres who appeared in the game Kyle had the second-highest OBP. The Padres as a team are 13th in baseball in wRC+ and 24th in wOBA. Why would you send down the guy who’s second on the team in both categories? According to Bill James, Blanks has been average defensively over his 205 innings in the outfield (combining his time in LF and RF). The dude’s turned into a competent all-around major league player. Whether he deserves to start or not is an interesting debate. What’s not an interesting debate is ‘does Kyle Blanks deserve to be in the majors?’. He does. End of story.
So congratulations Padres front office – Alonso’s injury saved you from yourself. Stop doing what’s convenient. Leave Blanks on the active roster.