MLB: Yasmani Grandal Brings More Than Home Runs to San Diego Padres

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MLB: Yasmani Grandal Brings More Than Home Runs to San Diego Padres
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Yasmani Grandal's home-run heroics will make June 30, 2012, a day Padre fans remember for a long time.

On that day, the switch-hitting rookie catcher made both his debut start and MLB history by becoming the first player ever to record his first two hits as home runs—one from each side of the plate. 

In the days following, he has continued to impress, clubbing two more long balls and driving in three additional runs. The 23-year-old now has five games under his belt in his first real stint in the big leagues and has a .300 batting average with four HR and six RBI to show for it. 

Grandal was called up last Saturday when everyday catcher, Nick Hundley, landed on the DL. He was immediately inserted into the lineup, jumping over the team's backup catcher, John Baker.

Since then, the slugger has seen 20 at-bats. After hitting a pinch-hit two-run bomb, on Wednesday night for his fourth homer of the season, he surpassed not just one but the two previous catchers combined home-run totals for the year. 

That normally wouldn't being a big deal, but when you compare only 20 ABs to the 294 at-bats between Hundley and Baker, you start to grasp what Grandal is meaning to this team. 

Since his call-up, a team that was averaging a league worst 3.3 runs per game has had an offensive outburst. In the five games that he has been a part of, San Diego is scoring 6.6 runs per outing, upping their season total to 3.5 a contest. 

The additional offense is also paying off in the one column the Padres have struggled the most in this season: wins.

Does Grandal's presence make the Padres' a threat?

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With help from Grandal, the team is on a season high five-game win streak. The streak has taken them out of the the NL West cellar and removed them from the title of second-worst team in the entire MLB. 

 

Going into Grandal's first start, San Diego sat in fifth place at 28-50 and was 16 games back. After their fifth straight win tonight, the Padres are sitting a little prettier at 33-50, in fourth place and only 13 games back of the division leading Dodgers.

They are also only seven games back of third place Arizona

Whether this power surge will continue is yet to be known, but the affect that Yasmani Grandal is having on the San Diego Padres is undeniable.

The team will have to pick up a few more W's before they are taking seriously, but they are heading in the right direction. 

 

 

*Stats are from MLB.com and ESPN.com. 

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