Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sign language

The first day that Kyle Blanks took batting practice after the Padres promoted him from Triple-A, he swatted four balls off an advertising board that fronts Petco Park's second deck beyond left field.

Padres staffers were giggling as Blanks made Petco look tiny.

"I thought he was going to break that yellow sign out there," said bench coach Ted Simmons.

Blanks looked lost in the games, but during the last roadtrip, the 22-year-old figured out something. He's hit six home runs in the last 14 games and now Adrian Gonzalez isn't feeling so lonely in the San Diego lineup.

Especially promising was the home run that Blanks hit against the Nationals on July 26 -- a pull-shot off a hot, inside fastball. For weeks, Blanks had done little with routine inside fastballs, but this time, the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder got his legs and hands in synch early, then showed easy power.

Will Venable also figured something out, and he'll ride a 10-for-21 streak into tonight's game against the Braves.

Blanks and Venable are athletic players, as is rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera, who continues to outpace expectations for a player who was in Single-A last year.

Bottom line, it's been an encouraging two weeks for the Padres.

Padres officials, some of them still in disbelief, celebrated once Jake Peavy accepted the trade to the White Sox on Friday.

Understand that the same Padres officials would love to see Peavy give GM Kenny Williams and the White Sox a World Series title.

But the whole franchise exhaled once Peavy accepted the trade, freeing up $56 million and removing a trade specter that had hovered since October.


  1. The Padres are starting to head in a new direction which is what they need.

  2. Like the fact that the pads are getting more athletic. Now I have a reason to watch. Latos looks solid so far.

  3. I think it's just time to find a way to move Kouz. We know what we have in the guy and the fact that we can't give him away right now doesn't say much. We need to see what Headley can do at 3B.

    That will allow the team to play Blanks in LF and Venable in RF EVERYDAY!

    Move Cabrera up to 1st or 2nd, Eck 3rd, AGON clean and Blanks providing protection. It's a no brainer and Buddy can sit back and watch these kids take their lumps and grow together over the next two months.

  4. Cabrera
    Headley/Kouz(spot starts for Kouz)
    Hundley/Whoever's catching

    Cabrera's the fire starter. He'll put the opposition under pressure. Use Gwynn at the bottom for the speed roll over from bottom of order to top.

    Agree w/ Steve: We know what we have in Kouz and we know he won't be here next year so start getting Chase in at 3b...then we give the outfield of Blanks/Gwynn/Venable a chance to show what they can do with everyday ABs.

    Kouz isn't going to boost his value in the next two months: he is what he is and he doesn't factor in to the club's future.

  5. Longtime listener, first time poster. Did I just read a suggestion to hit David Eckstein third in a major league line-up? I love the Padres so much it hurts.