Padres’ Points: Black, Kemp, Baez

The Padres are currently 20-22 and are in the middle of a rough stretch in the schedule, as I noted last week. With the team now five games back of the Dodgers and three games back of the second wild card, there have been recent rumors of the Padres’ Bud Black’s status as manager.

Given the all the additions, there were high expectations for this team to compete with the Dodgers for the National League West crown. Early on, the Padres have struggled with consistency in all facets of the game.

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of, the Padres’ manager could be the third manager in the Major Leagues to be fired in 2015. Rosenthal lists Padres hitting coach Mark Kotsay as a potential candidate to replace Black, but no one really knows who GM A.J. Preller has in mind.

Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of said in a recent radio interview (4:00 mark) on the Mighty 1090 that Bud Black’s job status is a lot safer than people think. In Nightengale’s opinion, the club will be patient with him instead of going down a similar path the Marlins did earlier this week.

Another report came out by Ken Rosenthal about Padres’ Triple-A manager Pat Murphy, who was rumored to be interested in a coaching role with the Brewers. The Padres “balked” at the idea of allowing Murphy to depart. This led to speculation that Murphy may have a role on the major league roster at some point, which led to some further questioning Black’s job security.

However, A.J Preller said in a recent radio interview on the Mighty 1090 (13:10 mark) that the Brewers never asked for permission to talk to Murphy. Preller would rather not have a transition in the middle of the season that would disturb the coaching situation at Triple-A. He also went onto say how they value Murphy as an important part of the organization.

It’s something to watch as the season moves forward, but in my personal opinion, Bud Black job is safe for now. However, what if the team continues to play sub .500 baseball as the team approaches the All Star Break? Then Black’s job could definitely be in question.

Injury Notes

  • Yonder Alonso (bruised shoulder) could resume baseball activities within the next week, Bud Black told reporters on Wednesday.
  • Brandon Morrow (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen today and could return by the next homestand, according to a report by Annie Heilbrunn.
  • Josh Johnson (Tommy John surgery) should throw one more bullpen when the team is playing the Anaheim Angels (May 25th-27th), tweets Corey Brock of This could be his final hurdle before going on a minor league rehab assignment.
  • Melvin Upton (left foot) began his rehab assignment this week with Triple-A El Paso. As of Thursday, he’s 3-9 with double, RBI, and stolen base to go along with 4 strike outs.

Friar Notes

  • Matt Kemp had some interesting comments a week ago in a recent Sports Illustrated article (link). He said the following, “I have my good days and my bad days. For the most part, I feel good. I can run again. Not as explosive, due to my ankle. But as I continue to get range of motion in it, it’ll get better and better. It just takes some time. I feel like maybe the second half of this year, or the beginning of next year, it’ll be where it needs to be.” Some have speculated this could be a factor with his power numbers (one home run) being down in the first part of the season. Coming into Friday, Kemp is 13-74 (.176/.205/.203) in the month of May. In general, he has struggled over his career during the month of May.
  • Many in the industry see the Padres dealing for a shortstop at some point this season, writes Ken Rosenthal of One name Rosenthal mentions in the article in the Javier Baez, who is hitting .296/.375/.423 with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate. While the Alexi Amarista/Clint Barmes duo have played solid defense, both have lacked any impact whatsoever on the offensive side. Personally, this should be the team’s priority position to improve if the team stays in contention.

Friar Moves

  • This week the club placed Wil Myers on the disabled list due to tendinitis in his left wrist and recall pitcher Corey Mazzoni from Triple-A El Paso. A.J. Preller said on the Mighty 1090 said that they are “cautiously optimistic” that Myers will be playing in games sooner rather than later, (link, 2:15 mark).

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