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Nick Hundley slams suspended teammate Yasmani Grandal

May 9, 2013, 6:16 PM EDT

Nick Hundley AP

We tend to praise those veterans who take youngsters under their wings. Especially when that youngster is gunning for the veteran’s own job.

Padres catcher Nick Hundley isn’t going that route, though. Maybe he would have under different circumstances. Say if the youngster replacing him wasn’t a big, ol’ cheater.

Asked Wednesday about the Padres’ catcher situation when Yasmani Grandal returns from his 50-game steroids suspension, Hundley told the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee:

“You want to talk about a guy who is unproven and had a good couple months on steroids, go ahead. I’ve got a job to do.”

Hundley has good reason to be frustrated. He was coming off a terrific .288/.347/.477 season in 2011 when the Padres picked up Grandal, a 2010 first-round pick, from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal that winter. Hundley went on to struggle mightily last year and lost his job to Grandal, only to see Grandal get the offseason steroid suspension. Grandal’s name subsequently was found in the Biogenesis documents.

If not for the suspension, the Padres would have tried to trade Hundley last winter, though it may have been tough considering his substantial contract and hideous .157/.219/.245 line in 204 at-bats last season. As is, he’s been the Padres’ regular catcher this year and hit a rock-solid .270/.302/.450 in 100 at-bats. Still just 29, he doesn’t deserved to be shoved back into a backup role, especially in favor of a cheater. That said, the Padres aren’t going anywhere this year and they still need to figure out whether Grandal is the real deal or not. It figures to lead to an awkward situation when Grandal comes back later this month.

  1. Old Gator - May 9, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    I see a slight revision of that great dinner scene between Munson and Reggie in The Bronx is Burning in Hundley and Grandal’s future…..

  2. chacochicken - May 9, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Players, much like spouses, always run the risk of getting replaced by a younger and, ah, better version, particularly when money is involved.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 9, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Yes, but the fake “credentials” are inferior to natural gifts in both scenarios.

  3. icanspeel - May 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Should make for some friendly or unfriendly competition. One would guess if the Padres are doing decently after 50 games Grandal might play in AAA for a little bit as long as Hundley is playing well still.

  4. xpensivewinos - May 9, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Unfortunately, Hundley is pathetic and the Padres have to play Grandal to find out if he’s really their catcher of the future.

    Hundley should be far more concerned with learning how to hit then ripping a teammate, regardless of what he did. Keep that sh** in-house.

    Although if the dope who runs the team can rip an opposing player with a well-documented social disorder, I suppose the precedent has been established for this stiff to openly rip one of his teammates.

    Quite a group of winners…….

    • gloccamorra - May 9, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Actually, the Padres catcher of the future is Austin Hedges, now at at High-A. That’s why Hundley got a 3-year contract with an option for 2015. Hedges is a major league catcher defensively now, but his bat needs work. He should be ready by 2015-16. Hundley is a clubhouse leader and his opinion reflects, probably, most of the Padres team.

      Grandal isn’t likely to join the major league club when his suspension is up, maybe not until the September call-ups. If Grandal doesn’t smooth things over with his teammates by then, he’ll likely by trade bait in the off-season, or next year’s trade deadline. The Padres have yet another catcher at AAA, Jason Hagerty, if needed.

    • ch0psuey - May 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Wow, your bitterness doesn’t come out in your post at all xpensivewinos.

  5. paperlions - May 9, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Hundley is a guy that has only had a couple of good months. Never played 100 games in an MLB season, was okay on a part-time basis for a couple years, had a great couple of months in 2011 and was horrible last year.

    Anyone that is an average defender with an OBP below .300 hasn’t earned their job so much as no one else has been around to take it.

    • ptfu - May 9, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      Not sure why you’re slamming Hundley, unless you’re trying to point out the whole throwing stones by residents of glass houses thing. Yes, obviously the Padres haven’t had anyone better until now, but he’s still a decent catcher with a little upside. Hundley played through a knee injury last season, so I’m inclined to view his awful 2012 with some leniency.

      Also, for some reason Hundley has better career numbers at Petco Park than on the road (~600 career PAs at home and on the road). I have no idea why, or even if that’s enough PAs to conclude anything. But if he has some sort of San Diego hitting ability, he’s that much more valuable to the Padres than to someone else.

      All of which is probably moot. Grandal’s got a great chance to be a better player than Hundley. Hundley’s gotta shut up and play, and audition for his next team.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 7:22 AM

        It was more a reference to the contention that Hundley “doesn’t deserved to be shoved back into a backup role”.

        But Hundley’s quote is full of bitterness. Grandal is just a far better player….but oh no, he’s a cheater so he should sit on the bench behind an inferior player.

      • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 7:25 AM

        Any time Hundley has been decent (like this year), it has been completely derived from luck (unsustainable high BABIP). He K’s 25% of his PAs and doesn’t walk much with almost no power. He’s okay behind the plate, but not exactly a defensive whiz. I am not saying he’s useless, he’s just not a guy that has carved out a job that isn’t up for grabs.

  6. biasedhomer - May 9, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Hundley is not a bad catcher given how weak that position is. He is in the 15-20 rank among catcher, average, but some contender could use him.

  7. mazblast - May 9, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    I can see it now–

    1. Grandal comes back, he and Hundley do not become pals. Management decides to treat them like siblings who can’t get along.
    2. Grandal goes to AAA, hits like crazy, gets recalled. Management tells them to learn to live with each other.
    3. Hundley gripes, gets traded.
    4. One week later, Grandal gets hurt, out for the season. Padres left with navel lint at C for the rest of the season.

    • thomas844 - May 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      5. Padres trade for Yadier Molina (I kid, I kid)

  8. thomas844 - May 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Grandal always sort of rubbed me the wrong way. He was the guy openly criticizing Chapman a couple years back during spring training (Grandal was still with the Reds) for his erratic control. It’s pretty easy to see which of the two has been more successful so far.

    • tuberippin - May 9, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      …Grandal was also correct in that regard. Even early last year, Chapman’s command was hideous. He corrected it, but that doesn’t make what Grandal said false. (hope this isn’t double-posted, ****ing internet connection)

      • thomas844 - May 9, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        He was correct but it just seems to me that it was out of his place to say something like that as a minor leaguer, especially when you look at where both players are at in their careers right now.

      • yahmule - May 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM

        Chapman’s command early last year was hideous?

        In April of 2012, he pitched 13 1/3 innings and he had 21 Ks and 3 BB.

      • tuberippin - May 10, 2013 at 2:36 AM

        Even Early two years ago*

        Ah, fuck it. My bad.

    • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      So….Grandal rubbed you the wrong way for mentioning a guys horrible control, but Hundley doesn’t with this comment?

  9. singingfriar - May 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Hundley is “just 29?” Grandal is all of 24, has raked at every level in the minors, and was a top catching prospect. There is no question who the Padres should be hitching their wagon to. Hundley showed himself as an insecure, classless teammate with those comments and better learn to like the bench.

  10. baseballisboring - May 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I understand the sentiment but…dude…shut up…

  11. Brian Donohue - May 9, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    “not going anywhere”? Pods seem to be playing some good ball, 2 games south of .500 and competitive in a very tough div. The Fish and the Cubs are “not going anywhere” — I wouldn’t drop that millstone around the Pods’ necks though. If I were an opposing NL team, I’d prefer to face several other teams in that league over the Pods. If you mean, “they likely won’t win their div…” then say so. But using the “not going anywhere” epithet seems to ignore the direction that team is rapidly establishing.

  12. pellypell - May 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Isn’t a Grandal the space between your a$$ and balls? Or is that grundle?

  13. lanzurrah - May 9, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Pads aren’t going anywhere? Maybe they won’t win their division or make the playoffs…but they’re arguably one of the hottest teams in baseball right now, have a pretty loaded farm system, and young players like Gyorko, Cabrera, Alonso, etc that are playing pretty well. They’re in the middle of the pack in the NL.

    They’re coming off a sweep of the Giants, split w/Cubs, took 2 of 3 against Arizona, swept Miami to go 10-3 over their last 13 games.

  14. rcali - May 9, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Why do I have a feeling San Diego will keep the cheater around? They know he’s willing to go the extra mile and that organization will accept whatever cut corner they can.

  15. tnyv - May 10, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Talking trash about teammates? Real mature Hundley. Hundley was actually starting to grow on me this year playing well behind the plate and also swinging the bat pretty good too. But then he comes out and says this. A real leader wouldn’t say this, after all I don’t hear Headley coming out and talking about Grandal like that. We all make mistakes which is what Grandal did. I dont condone cheating but im pretty sure that now suspended he feels bad about it all. And It’s one thing to say that he cheated or something like that, but its completely different to say what he said. It just seems cowardly and out of line, especially coming from someone that’s supposed to lead by example not talk trash about his teammates. If that’s how he leads I certainly don’t want the rest of the rookies following his examples.

    • louhudson23 - May 10, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      The point is that no one knows if they have ever seen Grandal actually clean and what he can do without enhancement…..one time user and caught or successful user posting fake numbers….

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