May 18, 2011, 12:25 PM EST
Brad Hawpe had the worst season of his career in 2010, signed a one-year deal with San Diego as a free agent, and hit just .098 through 18 games, at which point there was speculation about when the Padres would drop him and perhaps even call up top prospect Anthony Rizzo ahead of schedule.
Instead the Padres stuck with Hawpe as their primary first baseman and he’s responded by hitting .365 with a .984 OPS in 18 games dating back to mid-April. His overall numbers still aren’t pretty, but Hawpe has bought himself some more time in the lineup despite Rizzo hitting .374 with huge power at Triple-A.
Hawpe credited manager Bud Black for sticking with him, telling Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune:
Bud is a classy manager. He looks at the big picture. He didn’t hit the panic button when we were struggling early. He played the game. He understands it’s 162 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Hawpe is merely giving the Padres decent production come, say, July, because keeping Rizzo at Triple-A all season when he’s destroying the competition there seems unlikely. Hawpe could have a little trade value to contenders looking for cheap lineup help and he also has plenty of experience in the outfield corners, where Ryan Ludwick and Will Venable have both struggled.
- UPDATE: Mariners planning to offer nine years, $225 million to Robinson Cano 76
- MLB, NPB nearing new posting system agreement 9
- Report: Talks between the Mets and Curtis Granderson have “intensified” 31
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury 159
- Marlins sign free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to three-year, $21 million contract 44
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (159)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- When will the Yankees regret the Jacoby Ellsbury contract? (98)
- Robinson Cano met with the Mariners in Seattle (87)
- UPDATE: Mariners planning to offer nine years, $225 million to Robinson Cano (81)