Although the Padres are in the middle of a season-long 3 game skid, the team has been nothing short of a pleasant surprise 15 games into the season. Young players, like Chase Headley, and Nick Hundley are starting to look very comfortable at the plate while putting together solid at bats. The middle of the diamond has turned in solid play thanks to a tremendous platoon in center of Jody Gerut and Scotty Hairston. The new double play combination has been solid with the threesome of L Rod, injured Everth Cabrera and the epitome of a professional in David Eckstein. The catching duo of Henry Blanco and the before mentioned Hundley have been more productive than could have been predicted. The corners of the infield have been buoyed by a reversal of an early season Kouzmanoff slump and the pure beauty of Adrian Gonzalez with a bat in his hands. The only issue that FF has with any player at this point is the right fielder, Brian Giles (team stats).
Is it early in the season? Yes. Does he look like his old, consistent, self? No. Through the Pads 9-6 start the Friars highest paid position player has struggled to come up with his 10 base-knocks (just 2 extra base hits, both doubles). Maybe he has hit into bad luck, some hard outs ~ nope, a lot of pop outs and weak ground outs. Well, he is Brian Giles he must be drawing a ton of walks with a high on base percentage ~ no and no. Giles has drawn 4 base on balls while compiling 10 strike outs with an embarrassing OBP of .209.
FF has seen this scenario play out far too many times in the short season: Gerut (or Hairston) double to lead off an inning, David Eckstein lays down a beautiful bunt to sacrifice the runner to 3rd. With 1 out Giles either pops out or K's to leave Adrian to be pitched around with 2 outs. This is not something that the San Diego padres can afford to have happen, this team will be in a myriad of close games and will rely on fundamental baseball to stockpile W's. If Giles continues to "hit" in the 3 hole needs to shape up or sit (or hit) down.
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