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How long will the Padres stick with struggling Brad Hawpe?

Apr 28, 2011, 11:49 AM EDT

brad-hawpe-padres Getty Images

Beginning the season in a 9-for-63 (.143) slump is bad enough, but yesterday Brad Hawpe‘s early struggles extended to his defense at first base, as his misplay contributed to the Braves’ five-run inning in a 7-0 defeat of the Padres.

Hawpe had started a grand total of eight career games at first base prior to this season and any problems there defensively are no doubt being magnified by the fact that he’s replacing two-time Gold Glove winner Adrian Gonzalez.

Stepping into Gonzalez’s shoes no doubt isn’t helping Hawpe’s cause offensively either, although there isn’t much of a cause to begin with at this point. Not only is he hitting just .143 through 21 games, Hawpe has zero homers and four walks versus 23 strikeouts, leading to a hideous .382 OPS. To put that into some context, considering that NL pitchers have a .326 OPS.

Hawpe is coming off a career-worst season with the Rockies and his raw numbers with Colorado were always inflated by Coors Field, but he’s still a career .269 hitter with an .829 OPS on the road and for a modest $3 million investment he seemed like a worthwhile pickup for the Padres.

Instead he’s been perhaps the worst player in baseball through four weeks and is in danger of being replaced.

  1. okobojicat - Apr 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Hawpe was a pretty good defensive 1B in college, and played 200 games at 1B in the minor leagues. That said, he’s not been a quality hitter for a couple years and he’s probably done. When is Blanks due back?

    • oldnumero7 - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      The replacement won’t be Blanks. Anthony Rizzo was acquired from the Red Sox in the Gonzalez trade, is tearing up Triple A and is far superior to Hawpe, Blanks or Cantu defensively. He’s your guy.

  2. cambodianbreastmilk - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Hopefully he only stays long enough til the Pads shock the world and sign Pujols next year. Attendance, payroll, and overall morale should be a lot higher in San Diego after that.

  3. jamie54 - Apr 28, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    You only mention Hawpe. This is a lineup that as a whole is hitting barely over .200. There are black holes at both corner infield and outfield positions. Ludwick is not hitting his weight. Cantu is a has been/never was type of player Padres like to invest in to try and squeeze another year out of. Blanks was a strikeout machine prior to going on the DL last year and if brought up he won’t be much better. This is one of the most atrocious lineups in MLB history on their way to a league record 40+ shutouts. It’s not the ballpark since Phils, Braves, whomever, can crank it there. It’s the same terrible lineups year after year. Fan apathy? Well, let’s see, 41 years in existence, 2 WS appearances, no wins, barely any playoff wins, a franchise that for whatever fits that year as an excuse will trade away it’s best players and hope to get something in return, HORRIFIC drafts, a losing tradition, yes, that’s Padres baseball. Don’t blame the fans for this mess.

  4. xpensivewinos - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    The lineup is a joke.

    Ge, maybe they need a new ballpark so that they could afford to keep better players.

    Oh wait…..

  5. xpensivewinos - Apr 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    The lineup is a joke.

    Gee, maybe they need a new ballpark so that they could afford to keep better players.

    Oh wait…..

  6. pwstreetfan - Apr 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    People need instant gratification these days. I think the writer here is a bit harsh. Check the stats of various hitters around the league…very few are starting out with a bang…guys that are getting paid way more than Hawpe are struggling…. We are only a few weeks into the season folks…give it some time!

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