News and notes with Padres manager Bud Black:
Solarte making case for more ABs – After starting at first base on Saturday and tallying three hits and a RBI, Padres’ utility man Yangervis Solarte started the next two games at second base for the struggling Jedd Gyorko. In Monday’s opener against the Diamondbacks, Solarte added another two hits and two RBIs. He will start there again on Tuesday. Asked if his utility man will continue to start, especially with Gyorko’s struggles, manager Bud Black had this to say…
Said Black: “(Solarte) has five hits in two of his last three starts. He’s swinging the bat well. We like the way he’s swinging. With Jedd, I know (Mark) Kotsay and Alonzo (Powell) have been working with him on a couple things that I think is going to help Jedd moving forward. I wouldn’t read a whole lot into that.”
Solarte is batting .368 with seven hits and four RBIs in 19 at-bats. Meanwhile, Gyorko is hitting just .143 with 3 hits and one RBI in 21 at-bats.
E’s lead to L’s –How the defense would play out was a question mark for the remade Padres entering the year and early indications are that it’s still a work in progress. With Yangervis Solarte’s costly throwing error in the second inning on Monday night, the Padres have totaled six errors in the first eight games of 2015, tied for second most in the National League…
Said Black: “When you assemble a team, a lot of times it’s more difficult than you think to have it both ways. Usually, when you have it both ways, you’re talking about All-Star performers because not only can they hit but they can play defense. In that case, it’s awful tough to get the perfect player who combines offense and defense. In our case, the early going, I would agree that our defense has not been up to snuff. We have not played fundamentally sound defense these first eight games as I would expect us to as we move forward. But I think overall, down the line, you’ll see our defense will shore up a little bit.”
Kennedy Update – After straining his hamstring in the home opener, starting pitcher Ian Kennedy appears close to throwing a bullpen. Kennedy, who logged 201 innings and 207 Ks last year for the Padres, was placed on the 15-day DL and is eligble to come off the disabled list April 25th…
Said Black: “That’s a possibility that he could throw Wednesday. We’re hoping that occurs but we’re going to see how does (Tuesday) but that’s a possibility.”
Odrisamer Despaigne will start in his place Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
–Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)