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How will the Padres replace Adrian Gonzalez at first base?

Dec 4, 2010, 6:13 PM EDT

Kyle Blanks high five

Maybe this is an unfair question, because the reality is they won’t be able to do so.

The Padres were 12th in the National League this past season with 132 home runs and 665 runs scored. Meanwhile, Adrian Gonzalez hit 31 home runs and drove in 101 runs — that’s 23.5 percent and 15.2 percent of their offense, respectively. Taking a quick look at their team page over at Baseball Reference and you’ll see that no other Padres player topped either 13 home runs (Will Venable) or 58 RBI (Chase Headley). That’s a huge void to fill.

Making matters worse is that Kyle Blanks, who many considered a logical in-house replacement for Gonzalez at first base, is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. Dan Hayes of the North County Times writes that the Padres believe Blanks will be able to swing a bat by spring training and that his arm will be 75 percent by then. Still, it’s hard to count on him for the early part of the 2011 season. Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo is unlikely to arrive in the major leagues until late in the 2011 season or early 2012.

With that in mind, Hayes expects the Padres to look for help in free agency. We’re not talking about high-profile types like Paul Konerko or Carlos Pena, but temporary stop-gaps like Troy Glaus or Xavier Nady would make some sense.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 4, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    At this point in his career, Troy Glaus would just about make sense only if they could send up a designated hitter for him. Unfortunately, though, the Padres play real baseball.

    • JBerardi - Dec 4, 2010 at 6:33 PM

      Real baseball? Did they get moved to the AL East without me noticing? Man, that’s gonna be a rough travel schedule…

      • ksmack - Dec 4, 2010 at 9:17 PM

        Hey doofus, the World Series champ was from the NL West. The Padres dominated that team in the regular season. Drop the NY Post and turn on “real baseball” once in a while.

      • mtner77 - Dec 4, 2010 at 11:48 PM

        ….”Real baseball? Did they get moved to the AL East without me noticing?”….

        Go turn on a Jets’ game….

      • JBerardi - Dec 5, 2010 at 12:31 AM

        Oh, sorry for not recognizing the baseball powerhouse that is the NL west. Certainly it had nothing to do with the Giants catching lightning in a bottle with a bunch of weak-sauce vets (and yes, some great pitchers) and the general crapshoot that is the MLB postseason.

        The NL hasn’t had a winning record in interleague since 2003. Deal with it.

      • mtner77 - Dec 5, 2010 at 2:45 AM

        ….”The NL hasn’t had a winning record in interleague since 2003. Deal with it.”….

        No team in the AL East even made it to the world series this year. In spite of these teams out spending the rest of MLB nearly 2 to 1. On paper these AL (L)east teams SHOULD win each and every year. But, even with their HUGE built in finanical advantage, neither could make the big dance. Laughable! (One could NOT even make the playoffs).

        Gee, I wonder why the rest of the league hates you? And laughes when you fail? I can not figure it out.

        Go back to your Jets’ game……..

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2010 at 7:16 AM

        Boy, it’s a sad thing when pure, nonsectarian cynicism like mine dwindles into mere regional chauvanism.

  2. heiniemanush - Dec 4, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    I think Nate Colbert might be available.

    • Old Gator - Dec 4, 2010 at 10:43 PM

      Nate Colbert? What about Paul Winfield?

      • Old Gator - Dec 4, 2010 at 10:44 PM

        Heh – I mean Dave Winfield. He’s the one who’s still alive, right?

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