It’s time for interleague play and that means a need for an extra bat coming off the bench. The Padres made a move on Friday in an effort to add some additional punch to its lineup by calling up Yasmani Grandal from Triple-A Tucson and designating veteran pitcher Jeff Suppan for assignment.
The Cuban born Grandal was hitting .317 with a .421 on base percentage at Tucson. Grandal had 4 homeruns and 23 RBI in 120 AB’s. A switch hitter, Grandal appears to be much more comfortable swinging from the left side; all 4 of his dingers have come left-handed and he’s hitting .345 as a lefty versus just .242 as a righty.
Grandal was one of the four prospects sent from the Reds in the December deal that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati. He was the #3 ranked prospect in the Padres’ organization and the #1 ranked catcher. Grandal impressed in Spring Training this year where he hit .353 with 5 RBI in 51 AB’s.
He’s likely to get some at bats as a starter, DH and pinch hitter. Certainly, he couldn’t be any worse than 28-year-old Nick Hundley has been this season. Hundley, in 142 AB’s, is hitting a paltry .169 with 3 homers and 16 RBI. While Hundley swings from the right side, his backup, Jeff Baker is a left-handed hitter who is hitting .235 with 5 RBI in 51 AB’s this season.
“A switch-hitter who has some pop in his bat,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He gives us an extra bat until [Mark Kotsay] gets back. He’ll be able to supplement our bench.”
Fantasy Baseball Prospectus: Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal clearly has the most upside of the Padres’ catching trio. Unfortunately, when I analyze players just getting called up, I like to see what the manager’s quotes are and the one by Bud Black is not a ringing endorsement that Grandal is going to be an every day player. He’s going to get a chance to prove himself over the next couple of weeks and if he can produce, it won’t be difficult for him to unseat Hundley as the primary catcher for the Padres who desperately need some hitting in their lineup. If he isn’t able to shine in his debut, he’s too talented to take up a spot on the bench and will likely be sent back to Tucson for further refinement. If you have a spot on your roster and play in a deep keeper league, Yasmani Grandal is a guy you should consider picking up now. If not, I’d take a wait and see approach.