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Hunter Renfroe Jersey

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The 2019 San Diego Padres have 17 games left to play this year.

If the team goes 10-7 the rest of the way, they will end up with a 77-84 record.

Flip that, and a 7-10 record will bring them to 74-87.

In the unlikely event that this club pulls off a win streak and manages a 12-5 mark over the next three weeks, a losing record, at 79-82, will be their ultimate reward.

However you slice it, the next month of Padre baseball has very little to offer aside from evaluational opportunities and the time-honored refuge of losing ballclubs—those so-called moral victories of September. Yuck.

With about seven months left until San Diego plays another meaningful baseball game, it’s probably time to start turning our attention toward the 2019-2020 offseason.

Given the club’s repeated expression that 2020 is the expected opening to its window of contention, said offseason figures to be a very important one; factor in the much-ballyhooed roster crunch GM AJ Preller will be dealing with, and it may be fair to upgrade the situation from “important” to “critical”.

The club’s 40-man roster is full. Eleven players currently sit on the 60-day injured list, putting them temporarily off of that 40-man—but they will need space on that roster when they are ready for activation. Several prospects will need to be moved onto the 40-man in order to avoid the Rule V Draft this offseason (including Buddy Reed, Esteury Ruiz, and Trevor Megill), while the club still holds 40-man spots for fringe considerations like Travis Jankowski and Edward Olivares.

Those last two players are of particular note. With a much-discussed logjam in the 2019 outfield, the Padres have received little in the way of clarity regarding their on-grass picture for 2020. Uneven performance, injury, and stagnation have more or less muddied what was already an uncertain state of affairs with San Diego outfielders this year. With Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Josh Naylor, Nick Martini, and Franchy Cordero all expected back next season, how will the team continue to make 40-man room for players like Jankowski and Olivares?

It’s with a question like this that we kick off what will be a new series over the next two weeks, wherein potential trade pieces for the 2019-2020 offseason will be evaluated. Hunter Renfroe, who figures to be the second-most expensive player of San Diego’s outfield group next year, is certainly a trade candidate worth taking a look at.

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Last week, outfielder Josh Naylor was interviewed by Gwynn & Chris of 97.3 THE FAN—an altogether great radio program in the afternoon drivetime hours.

I was excited to hear Josh interview because, from what I’ve seen, he’s got a fiery personality, is Canadian, and, well, doesn’t exactly look like a physical Adonis. That last point—that of Josh’s physique—was actually touched on by Tony Gwynn Jr., and the results were…somewhat awkward.

Gwynn: “One of the things that to me is uncanny watching you swinging the bat is that you have a lot of similarities to Prince Fielder…Have you heard that comparison before?”

Naylor, sounding uncomfortable: Um, yeah I have. Especially before my professional career, I got a lot of comps to him and stuff, and, you know, bigger hitters like that, but it is what it is—I don’t try to hit like him or be like him.

This was just one cringe-worthy moment in what was altogether a great interview (available below), but man did I want to crawl into the glovebox of my Scion listening to that exchange. Check it out around the 5:00 mark.

What’s most obvious about the back-and-forth is that Josh Naylor has been asked a lot about his appearance—and that interviewers, like Gwynn, try to soften the blow of the real question by comparing Naylor to, in Naylor’s words, “bigger” hitters like Fielder.

But let’s call it what it is: Naylor is chunky, yo.

And you know what else? Mans can hit.
Loving the skin you’re in

First, let me advocate for my use of the word “chunky”. Some people would call Naylor “fat”, but “fat” is almost universally an epithet used to make people feel shame and, in our tolerance-minded times, we will steer way clear of making our young outfielder feeling bad about his girthy frame.

“Chunky”, meanwhile, has better associations. Peanut Butter can be chunky. Rocky Road is chunky. The audio mixing on Portishead’s Dummy record could be described as chunky.

I will admit that there is one place where the word “fat” does have positive connotations, e.g. “fat stacks of cash”—which is exactly what our 6’1, 225-lb outfielder is going to make some day if he keeps hitting at his current pace.

In the second half, the 22-year-old lefty is hitting .276 with 5 HRs and a palatable 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Most importantly, the “Mississauga Masher” has shown an ability to hit situationally—something few Padres have succeeded at this year.
Simple approach, great results

Take a look at this at-bat from last night’s game:

Facing a right-side-heavy shift, the rookie Naylor does exactly what a professional hitter should do—just a nice, simple game of “Pepper” the other way. Since July 5th, Naylor is hitting .326 in at-bats where the defense has the shift on him. He seems to stick with the old adage of ”When you put the ball in play, good things happen”.

Of course, putting the ball in play has long been Naylor’s modus operandi. The big boy from north of the border struck out just 30 times in 223 Triple-A at-bats this year, and holds a 1.70:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 1700+ minor league at-bats—pretty solid marks in today’s swing-happy culture.

So call Josh Naylor whatever you wish—fat, chunky, girthy, big-boned, body-swollen, a hefty lefty, rotund, portly, or plump.

Just make sure you also call him what he is: a hitter.

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Wil Myers has had a bumpy San Diego Padres career that has included an All-Star appearance when they hosted the MId-Summer Classic in 2016, but after that season he has struggled.

The big story for him is his strikeouts. It seemed like he was striking out at least once every game, which meant a majority of the time he was an easy out in the middle of the lineup.

The Padres even tried to bench him to let him just refocus and get some extra practice in off of the curveball machine, but that didn’t even work.

He seems lost in the outfield at times, and he can’t go back to first base with Eric Hosmer there for the foreseeable future.

So, with that said I think the Padres should just eat his contract and trade him to another team because it seems to me like he is hurting the team more than he is helping them.

The only tricky part about eating his $83 million contract is that in order to actually eat the contract, there has to be a team that is willing to take him on, which is most likely going to be the front office’s biggest question.

If the Padres were to find a team for Myers, they would at the very least be able to save $20-$30 million to either save or spend on some free agents in the offseason like a Gerrit Cole.

People bring up the argument that the San Diego Padres don’t want to eat his big contract, but Wil Myers is not performing and is a hole in the lineup which means they are essentially eating his contract anyway so they might as well trade him to another team.

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Awards season has officially begun with Gold Gloves given out on Sunday to baseball’s premier defenders where the San Diego Padres came up empty-handed.

On Monday, Major League Baseball revealed the finalists for the four major awards from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which include MVP, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.

The San Diego Padres were represented among the finalists by their beloved rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. — up for 2019 Rookie of the Year.

The nomination is a surprise to few, if any, due to Tatis’ unforgettable rookie season which included jaw-dropping plays all over the field.

At the plate, Tatis Jr. finished his season with a .317 average, 22 homers, and 53 RBI.

Defensively, he made diving plays, impossible throws, and leaping grabs that one could only shake their head at. He was easily Manny Machado‘s equal defensively, which is almost an impossible comparison when thought about.

The base paths is where Tatis really separated himself from the ordinary, however.

He scored multiple times while being at second on groundballs in the infield, including one to the pitcher against the Giants in San Francisco.

The youngster tagged up from 3rd and scored on a pop up to the 2nd baseman that was a step off the infield dirt.

His best trick, though, was escaping a pickle that saw him avoid a tag going back to first that could have landed him a role in The Matrix.

In August, however, after only 84 games, the 20-year-old Tatis was shut down for the season by the organization due to lower back issues.

The announcement ended the chance at a playoff run for the Padres as a team, and also ended some chances at records and awards that Tatis was well on his way to winning if healthy.

One of those very easily could have been the Rookie of the Year award, but he will likely lose votes due to the 78 missed games.

Likely, it will go to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, who had an excellent and historic year of his own.

Alonso finished with 55 home runs (a rookie record) and 120 RBI.

A full season of Fernando Tatis Jr. against Alonso’s monster power numbers and Mike Soroka‘s 13 wins and 2.68 ERA would have made the NL Rookie of the Year race a lot more interesting than it is likely to turn out.

Win or lose at Monday night’s award ceremony, it is Tatis Jr. who has won the hearts of San Diego’s fans with his energy, his passion, and his other-worldly skills.

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I’ve been writing for publication for over a decade. When I was in high school, I wrote an editorial that linked the country’s most highly paid public employee to a pattern of graft and fraud that ultimately led to his indictment. In college, I created and sold a profitable print magazine in Santa Barbara. Since then, I’ve interviewed Grammy nominated musicians, internationally exhibited visual artists, and prominent actors.

All of this is to say: I’ve never had an assignment harder than this one.

As a fan of the Padres, I’ve rarely seen a player do a worse job of ingratiating himself to a fanbase than Ian Kinsler has done this season. Arriving in town on a two-year contract signed this offseason, the second baseman brought with him a very accomplished resumé: he won a World Series last year with the Red Sox; he’s played in 4 All-Star games; he’s won 2 Gold Glove awards. But all of that meant very little once his first season as a Padre was underway.

Across March and April, Kinsler stumbled out of the gate with a putrid 11-for-91 stretch at the plate. He made a few critical errors on the base paths, and made a few defensive miscues that showed plenty of patina on his formerly golden glove. Worse, Kinsler’s presence—and possible cache with fellow former Texas Ranger employee AJ Preller—made it eminently clear that the organization had little plans to give prized prospect Luis Urias much in the way of playing time.

If the early-going was enough to make Kinsler persona non grata amongst the Friar Faithful, the events of May 16th more or less blacklisted him in the eyes of many.

That was…um, yeah. Regardless of whether you believe Kinsler’s explanation that his “F— you all” outburst was intended for his teammates, his “celebration” brought down an avalanche of criticism on him that, in this article, I will attempt to offset.

Does Kinsler’s early poor play and vulgar May outburst really entitle him to this kind of consensus hate?

That’s what I’ll attempt to examine here, by taking a look at what Kindler does supposedly offer to this team in a positive way.

Deep breath. Are you ready? Here are five reasons the Padres need Ian Kinsler.
This is how we do it?

In the Petco era, welcoming in formerly great players who have seemingly no respect for our organization or our fanbase is a time-honored tradition.

Orlando Hudson once called us “pathetic” via Twitter, and offended far worse with his play on the field.

Matt Kemp, arriving to the Padres as perhaps the most famous Dodger of his era, long elicited suspicion around San Diego that he was actually a covert Dodger agent assigned to sabotage us with his flatulent play in the outfield; these suspicions were deemed justified when, on May 17th, 2016, Kemp actually lowered his trousers and relieved himself on the left field grass of Petco park during a game against the Giants. My memory of the incident is hazy, but I can almost completely remember that it happened.

Doug Mirabelli, after being acquired by the Padres in the 2005 offseason, came to then-Padres GM Kevin Towers early in the 2006 season to request a trade back to his original team, the Boston Red Sox. Reportedly, he told Dave Roberts something to the effect that he, “wanted to get back to the big leagues”. To be fair, Towers was able to trade him back for Josh Bard and Cla Meredith, so it is reasonable to argue he actually did Padres fandom a major solid—besides, his removal from the team really helped to lower the team’s collected SPQ rating, which is a statistical measurement I just invented called Soul Patch Quotient. Thanks, Doug?

Any way you slice it, Kinsler’s double-bird outburst on May 16th is a familiar kind of fan outreach for our fanbase, which isn’t, you know, a “big league fanbase” anyway, right?
Power?

Ian Kinsler may be hitting .206 this season, but he has 7 home runs! Dingers!
Grit?

Everyone knows that what a team really needs at the keystone is a player who provides the one true intangible—Grit. In the rest of this piece I will capitalize the word Grit, because i Imagine that when Andy Green thinks of the word “grit”, it feels capitalized in his mind.

Kinsler’s got Grit. And sometimes, Grit means flipping off your teammates in plain view of young children who idolize you. This link goes to nu metal classic “Down With The Sickness”, which is the kind of music i imagine a Gritty dude like Ian enjoys. Hell yeah.
Leadership?

Ian Kinsler, it was said when he was signed, was brought in to provide leadership. Considering that half of the team is Latino, I’m sure they strongly identify with a white guy from Zona who once said the USA baseball team played the team the “right way”, as opposed to the Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic teams, though he offered he that comment wasn’t “taking anything away from them”. That’s nice to clarify.

He also called Rangers GM Jon Daniels a “sleaze ball” after being traded by Daniels to Detroit. Kinsler then wished that his former team went “0-162” in the season following his trade. That, folks, is leadership and investment personified.
Maybe Urias stinks?

A great deal of the consternation over Kinsler involves his blocking of second base prospect Luis Urias. The problem is: Urias can’t play. We know this because he received 29 at-bats at the big league level this season, and he has only hit .368/.461/.724 in Triple-A El Paso. Any prospect taking the job from a Gritty leader like Kinsler needs to hit at least .400.
Conclusion

Well ok, that was indeed a tough assignment, but I think I can be proud that anyone having read this should be roundly convinced that much of the Ian Kinsler bashing is totally unfounded.

In all seriousness though, I will admit that, though he is eminently unlikable from a personality standpoint, the dude has rebounded well with a .375 batting average in June on the heels of a .254 average in May. Maybe let’s put away the pitchforks and torches for a while?

Luis Perdomo Jersey

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2 years ago, Luis Perdomo looked like he would stay in the starting rotation for years to come. At times, he was simply dominant. Of course there were times when the wheels would come off, but that’s normal of a rule 5 trial by fire pitcher in his early 20’s.

2018 came along and things got much, much worse. He couldn’t find the plate, and when he did he got shelled. Demoted to AAA, he spent time becoming a more mature student of the game. He pitched well as a reliever during his September call up.

Fast forward to today and Luis Perdomo is suddenly one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen. In fact, he’s unique in the sense that he can give you length if necessary. In 27 IP he has a 2.67 ERA. Most impressive is his 1.04 WHIP. The man who was always out of control is no longer a thrower, but a pitcher.

His 2 worst outings were against Toronto and Atlanta. He gave up 7 ER in 4 IP. You take out those 2 games, he’s given up just 1 ER in 23 IP. 0.43 ERA. In other words, he’s been dominant.

There’s been a few subtle changes that are worth noting. 1st, his slider. The graph below, courtesy of fangraphs, shows that Perdomo has thrown his Slider more than anytime in his career. He’s thrown it 35.6% of the time vs. 26.5% last year. You can thank the minor league development staff for that. They’ve openly forced players to throw their slider more, and it’s really helped Perdomo. Opponents are hitting just .158 when he throws it. It’s his top “put away” pitch.

2nd, He’s all but abandoned his Splitter. Good thing too, it’s terrible.

Lastly, he’s simply locating his primary pitch, a sinker, incredibly well. He’s cut down dramatically on his walks, and no longer trying to strike everyone out. He’s a true sinkerball that relies on location over power. He’s maturing and trusting his stuff.

Luis Perdomo 3.0 looks to be here to stay. A reliable middle innings arm that can be extended. Sounds good to me.

No longer will Padre fans hold their breath and say “Perdo…NOOOO!!” when this version trots out to the mound.

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Dinelson Lamet took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning for the only major league team that’s never pitched one, leading the San Diego Padres over the Seattle Mariners 9-4 Tuesday night.

Omar Narvaez lined a single with one out in the seventh to break up Lamet’s try. The Padres, who began play in 1969, are still looking for that elusive first no-hitter.

The Mariners, meanwhile, avoided becoming the first club in the majors to be held hitless three times in a season. A pair of Los Angeles Angels pitchers teamed on a no-hitter against Seattle on July 12 and the Houston Astros combined to no-hit the Mariners last Saturday.

Lamet (1-2) struck out 12 and gave up two hits in seven shutout innings for his first win since 2017. Slated to be San Diego’s No. 2 starter last year after a promising rookie season, Lamet hurt his elbow in his final spring training start and then had Tommy John surgery.

The 27-year-old righty came off the injured list and rejoined the Padres last month.

Rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his 20th home run as the Padres sent Seattle to its fifth straight loss.

With a mounting pitch count, Lamet took a 5-0 lead into the seventh and struck out Daniel Vogelbach to begin the inning. After Vogelbach was ejected for arguing, Narvaez lined the first pitch into right field. Kyle Seager followed with a double to the left corner.

Lamet escaped by getting Austin Nola on a popup and fanning Dylan Moore to tie his career strikeout high.

Tatis’ homer, a two-run shot to the second deck in left field, helped spur a five-run fifth inning. Manuel Margot and Luis Urias also drove in runs against Wade LeBlanc (6-5).

Eric Hosmer added a two-run homer in the eighth off reliever Erik Swanson and Josh Naylor later homered.

The Mariners rallied for four runs off the bullpen in the eighth inning, spurred by Tim Lopes’ two-run homer, his first major league hit. Lopes entered the lineup for Vogelbach after being recalled from the seven-day concussion list.

OUTFIELD OPPORTUNITY

Lopes received an interesting assignment on his first day back from the concussion list. The lifelong infielder was scheduled to shag balls in the outfield during batting practice after the 80-game suspension of Tim Beckham and lingering injuries to Domingo Santana and Mitch Haniger.

“He came into my office today and his eyes got real big,” manager Scott Servais said. “I said, ‘Dude, that’s the way to get in the lineup.’”

In other moves, the Mariners also reinstated reliever Brandon Brennan (right shoulder strain) from the 10-day injured list and sent reliever Gerson Bautista to Triple-A Tacoma to make room.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: Pitcher Garrett Richards had a setback Monday in his return from 2018 Tommy John surgery. He came out of an appearance at Single-A Lake Elsinore with a tight shoulder. “The trainers tell me to anticipate this as a minor hiccup, that he feels ultimately pretty good today,” manager Andy Green said. . Reliever Jose Castillo (right elbow) completed another positive rehab appearance at Lake Elsinore. “If he continues on this path, his return is close,” Green said.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez will make a rehab start Thursday at Double-A Modesto. He’s scheduled to throw 45 to 50 pitches over three innings in his attempt to return from a right lat strain. . Haniger (testicle surgery) and second baseman Dee Gordon (strained right quad) are increasing their workouts with the team through the weekend and could be sent to rehab assignments next week. . Reliever Connor Sadzeck met with the same doctor who performed his Tommy John surgery and had a nonsurgical procedure on his right elbow in Texas, Servais said. . Third baseman Ryon Healy had hip surgery in Arizona, Servais said, but had no further details.

Anderson Espinoza Jersey

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The San Diego Padres were hopeful that Anderson Espinoza would be able to get back on the mound this season, adding yet another arm to their already impressive list of pitching prospects. He had been a consensus top 25 prospect before the 2017 campaign, but has missed each of the last two seasons due to Tommy Joh surgery. Nonetheless, Espinoza is still ranked as the Padres 13th best prospect according to MLB.com, a lofty status considering his injury woes.

Unfortunately, that timeline for Espinoza to take the mound and reclaim his status as a top prospect has taken another step back. He has undergone a second Tommy John surgery, as the graft ruptured. Considering the timing of the procedure, Espinoza may not be ready to take the mound until late in 2020, or at the beginning of 2021.

When last he was on the diamond, Espinoza was showing some of the potential that made him a top prospect. One could forgive his 4.49 ERA and 1.385 WHiP in his 108.1 innings in A ball in 2016, especially as he struck out 100 batters with only 35 walks.
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If healthy, Espinoza has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter. Despite a relatively small frame at 6′ tall and weighing just 160 pounds, he had a fastball that sat in the mid to upper 90s, an excellent changeup with plenty of sink, and the beginnings of what could be a plus curveball. With a fluid delivery and repeatable mechanics, Espinoza had the potential to be a star in the making.

With this second procedure, it is fair to wonder what Anderson will have left when he eventually returns to the mound. He had been compared to the late Yordano Ventura before, but this second procedure after the first one failed is definitely concerning.

It may also change the way that Espinoza is viewed moving forward. The Padres had been determined to keep him in the rotation despite any durability concerns due to his size. This second procedure could force their hands, and lead to Espinoza moving to the bullpen.

Anderson Espinoza had another setback, and will require a second Tommy John surgery. The San Diego Padres prospect will not be back on the mound until 2020 at the earliest.

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The rise of David Bednar belongs in the “storybook” category. How else to describe how a 35th-round draft pick out of Lafayette College ascended through the San Diego Padres organization in three short years?

On Sunday, the right-hander from Mars High was called up from Class AA Amarillo, where he dominated as a closer, to the major leagues. He is the latest-round draft pick to reach the big leagues under Padres general manager A.J. Preller.

He is also one of only eight pitchers in MLB history to make it to the majors as a 35th-round pick. Bednar was the 1,044th player chosen in 2016.

“It’s always been my dream to play professional baseball,” Bednar told the Post-Gazette last year.

Now, he is living that dream. And he made his MLB debut this past Sunday in front of 38,701 at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Summoned by Padres manager Andy Green to pitch the bottom of the ninth, Bednar registered a 1-2-3 inning to ensure an 8-4 victory.

The hard-throwing Bednar (his fastball has reached 98 mph) induced three outfield flyouts, first by Joey Rickard, then by Stephen Vogt and finally by Brandon Belt.

As the final out was recorded in left field, Bednar slowly walked from the mound with little reaction. He was then greeted by catcher Austin Allen, who wrapped his arm around the young pitcher. The rest of the Padres soon followed, giving their new teammate high fives and handshakes.

Bednar, 6 feet 1, 220, flashed a smile.

It was a perfect beginning to what has been a perfectly crafted story.

“David Bednar was drafted in the 35th round with the 1,044th overall selection,” the Padres tweeted (and younger brother Will Bednar, a freshman pitcher at Mississippi State, retweeted). “Today, he’s a Major League pitcher. Never ever give up.”

Bednar was used in the ninth to keep closer Kirby Yates fresh for the Padres.

“Great team win,” Green said. “Lot of contributions from a lot of different people.”

While most late-round selections toil in the minors for years (if not for careers), Bednar, 24, has blazed a strikingly different trail.

Since the All-Sar break, he converted 10 of 10 save opportunities for Amarillo. He also struck out 44 in 27.1 innings and posted a 1.98 ERA during that span.

What’s more, he had converted 14 consecutive save opportunities prior to his promotion to the big club. He finished his AA stint with 86 strikeouts and a 2.95 ERA in 58 innings.

“I just go out and attack the zone no matter who’s out there or the situation,” Bednar told the website Baseball Essential. “I’m just going to go out there and pitch to the best of my ability and put it all out there.”

While the Padres are out of playoff contention, the future looks bright. Their minor league system is ranked No. 1 by MLB.com and seven of their prospects are rated among MLB’s top 100 players.

Bednar appears to be in their long-term plans as a reliever after posting potent numbers in the minors: 303 strikeouts in 219⅔ innings; 2.70 ERA; 38 saves.

The son of Mars baseball coach Andy Bednar, David Bednar has refined his splitter and curveball, to go along with that fastball. Interestingly, he threw in the high 80s in high school, but his velocity has increased annually since entering college in 2014.

Earlier this season, FanGraphs described Bednar this way: “The barrel-chested Bednar has developed a good split in pro ball, making him an excellent three-pitch option for when relief usage minimums change in the future. He throws in the mid-90s (he was 89-92 as a starter in college) and has a snappy, 12-6 curveball. The curveball is probably what got him drafted, while the fastball/split development is driving a modern relief profile. He’s paving over Double-A and could reach the big leagues this year.”

Andy Bednar said his son has found success, in part, due to a laser-like focus.

“He’s a really hard worker off the field,” dad said. “He’s stayed religious with the workouts. And he’s poised on the mound. He doesn’t get frustrated a whole lot. A sign of a good player is, when things get rough, they’re at their best.”

For David Bednar, his best has taken him on a “storybook” journey to the major leagues.

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In a very dismal offseason, Khalil Greene stole the show. The once proclaimed offensive stud was on his way to St. Louis to be the starting shortstop.

The Cards invested two minor-league pitching prospects and $6.5 million to the guy that would become the franchise’s fourth Opening Day starting shortstop in six seasons. He appeared to be the answer at that position as he brought a good bat and plus fielding.

He did have a bad 2008 that had some fans scratching their heads, but apparently it was all due to his self-inflicted hand fracture he suffered after the whole punching incident. Well no problem then, right? Just an injury that resulted in an “off” year?

Wrong.

It did seem that way in Spring Training when Greene batted .408 with 17 RBI in 71 at bats. The most promising stat was his mere four strike outs in spring…a stat that plagued him in ’08.

However, Greene says, “It’s a different set of circumstances in Spring Training.” Apparently so, because Green is currently batting at a .208 clip with two home runs, 14 RBI, 13 runs, and two stolen bases.

Cardinals’ management is now starting to realize why Greene has struggled the past couple years. When we first learned about Greene’s anxiety problem, we just thought it was the same thing Zach Greinke and Dontrelle Willis went through. To my knowledge this is not even close.

With Khalil’s issue, he is making a very difficult game nearly impossible.

He explains, “It’s not the most enjoyable aspect of this. It’s about trying to find a balance, about not being too hard on myself and being able to naturally let it go.”

Including tonight, Khalil has only started in two games in as many weeks. However, with Tyler Greene’s demotion, most figured Khalil would get more opportunities in an attempt to find his hitting stroke.

It was also considered that Khalil may get increased time due to the recent Boston trade rumor involving Greene. With more at bats, the Cardinals may have hoped value would be increased a touch.

While it may have seemed that why, La Russa says that may not be the case.

“We’re trying to take some things off him for awhile. He’ll play. He may start here or there. We’ll see how it goes. But we’ve decided to give him an opportunity to step back a little.”

While there has been no public clarification of actual problem, Greene has recently admitted to “self-abuse”. He says that he has had the same issue since childhood, but it has increased over the past few years.

Unfortunately, the public is now starting to realize how serious and scary Greene’s issue actually is.

This is an excerpt from the Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss.

Teammates noticed Greene punishing himself during the season’s first road trip. When one Cardinal player approached Greene in the Wrigley Field dugout to ask what he was doing, Greene responded of his frustration, “It’s the only way I can get it out.”

Last weekend Greene left PNC Park in Pittsburgh with one hand bleeding. He had not sought treatment from the team’s training staff. One person in uniform described Greene’s struggle as “scary”.

Umm…no doubt about that one. I have read this over and over, I have asked others, but it is what it is. According to this, if this is true, it appears Khalil Greene cuts himself to relieve stress.

The only good thing about this is Khalil knows he needs to fix the problem. He is not denying it what-so-ever.

“I just think being able to sit back and try to look at myself in the third person may allow me to do that,” Greene said. “What can I do in a situation to be a more productive player physically and emotionally? I don’t know if there ever comes a time when that aspect of it is not going to be there for me. I think it’s about being able to find a more consistent coping mechanism or a healthier outlet to deal with things.”

The entire team clearly knows about it, too. Just look at their reaction to anything good that comes out of Greene’s play. They act like he just crushed a game-winning grand slam. But do not get me wrong, I have no problem with that.

Lately, Pujols has shown some real concern for Khalil’s game and has, in a way, taken Greene under his wing. Before the games, you can find Greene out there with Pujols trying to figure out what is wrong with his bat.

“I haven’t talked to him about what he’s going through, but I think I can help him with what he’s dealing with in the box,” Pujols said. “Khalil’s got a lot of ability. I know he’s more than a .240 or .250 hitter. If there’s something I can do to help and he wants it, I want to help. He’s a good guy. He’s here to help us win.”

I see where Pujols is coming from, but Greene’s issue extends far from the box. There comes a point where you have to worry about a dude’s life over his game.

If I was John Mozeliak, I would make it my mission to find Greene some help before something bad happens. Send him to AAA, let him feast on lower-level pitching. Maybe it will help.

Get better, my man.